Monday, December 30, 2013

Final Hours

There is just about 24 hours left to make a donation to Toys for Tots before the cut off.

If you haven't yet had a chance to do so, get them in soon!

Thank you again to every author, beta, artist, and reader who doanted their time, talents, and money to this cause!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Donation Extension

I received a few emails last night and this morning asking if they could still donate and receive the compilation, as they didn't have the wherewithal before now. After speaking with the other two people who help with the compilation, the decision has been made to extend the donation period.We felt it was only fair if we were going to allow it for one or two people, tat we also make it a public option.

Receipts for donations to Toys for Tots will be accepted until 11:59EST on New Year's Eve.

All the same rules will apply - minimum of $5 donation, the receipt must be sent to the compilations' email, etc.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

And To All A Good Night

That's it!

We're all done for this year's compilation.

All emails have been sent, Santa has made his rounds, and every donation has been counted.
We didn't quite make our first year's total, but I refuse to let that discourage me from continuing the compilation next year. I, of all people, know that times have not been easy for a lot of us, and I sincerely appreciate everyone who took the time to write, create banners, beta stories, and of course, donate to Toys for Tots.Never doubt for a minute that every single donation makes a difference in a life of a child.

Again, thank you all so very much. May you all be as blessed as you have blessed others, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Never Too Late

Happy Christmas Eve! 


It's time to pull out that list and check it twice. 

Cards mailed? 

Shopping done?  

Gifts wrapped? 

Cookies baked? 

Stockings hung by the chimney with care? 

And last, but not least - have you made your donation to Toys for Tots? 

We're down to the final few hours for donations - just a little over twelve hours to go. The busy elves at Christmas Wishes have been furiously scrambling around,  compiling all the stories and banners,  making last minute tweaks, and adding pretty little details to this year's compilation. Don't miss out on your opportunity to receive a copy. 

Just a $5 donation to Toys for Tots will not only help bring a smile to a child's face on Christmas morning, but it will also ensure that the 2013 Christmas Wishes Compilation is delivered to your inbox on Christmas Day. 

We're at about half of last year's donations total, and not even halfway to this year's goal. At this point, I'd be thrilled if we could match the first year's total of $750. I know the economy has been extremely hard, and I so appreciate everyone who was able to find a few dollars to donate. 

I'll check back in later with another update, and see if we can't get a couple more story snippets posted, too. 

Until later - 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Story Teaser: The Art of Deception By Speklez

Oh, fun for me. I get to be shameless and do a little self pimping. Last year was my first year donating to this amazing charity and this was one of the three stories I donated. Our fab Busymommy made the banner and I took the idea and ran with it. After many, many, MANY talks of the direction of the story, the plot was born and here we are with the second chapter of what was my first dance with slash. The Art of Deception was started in the Christmas Wishes compilation and here is where it lives on. 

The Art of Deception
by Speklez

It’s an art form getting people to think that everything they think to be true is anything but. However, no matter how you hide, how you ignore the burn of the lies that ignite a fire in your soul, in the end they always come out to destroy you.



We stayed like that for as he drank his coffee and waited for the medication to kick in. When he was finished, he leaned forward and set his cup back on the table before standing up, lacing his fingers together, and raising his arms above his head, stretching out his back.

Dropping his arms to his side, he turned to me, leaning forward and bracing himself on the back of the couch. “I going to go get a shower.” Dipping his head to mine, he pushed my head back with his forehead so it was lying on the back of the couch before pressing his lips to mine.

It was soft at first, but picked up in intensity when I pushed back against him, parting my lips at his request. I would never get tired of the sounds that came from the man above me. The soft moan at the first touch of our tongues would drive me wild every time I heard it. I would also never get tired of the feel of his fingers sliding into my hair, pulling at it to tilt my head the way he wanted.

He could call my hair stupid all he wanted, he knew he loved it. He also knew I knew it, too.

If I thought things were going to stop there, I was pleasantly surprised when he shifted his stance, using the leverage to push me to my back, and moving with me so the kiss wasn’t broken. I arched into him when he rolled his hips, his hand on my hip pulling me rougher against him.

When the kiss did break, Draco was panting, his steel eyes dark and hard as slate boring into mine. His voice was deep and rough. “Bedroom.”

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? *giggles*

Time is very quickly running out to get your donation in. For a measly 5 dollars, you not only get exclusive first rights to every story in our compilation, but that donation will ensure that a child gets a visit from Santa that otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas. We are accepting donation slips right up until midnight Christmas Eve. Simply email us a copy at and Santa will make a stop by your email on his way around the world.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Story Teaser: Tip Up at Copper Thief by S.A. McAuley

S.A. McAuley is a fabulous author that I had the pleasure of becoming friends with earlier this year due to our shared love of a certain British boy band that shall remain nameless. I then shamelessly coerced her into donating to this year's compilation by playing on our friendship and her misplaced fondness for me. In trade, I did make her banner, so all's fair, right?

Tip Up at Copper Thief 
by S.A. McAuley 

Len stood and extended his hand. “Then come on in. I’ll make us a proper holiday meal of fried fish and whiskey. Then you can tell me why in hell you’re crazy enough to be snow camping on Christmas, Graham Occam.” 
Len wasn’t the only resident on the lake, but he was—or so he thought—the only one who had stayed in town for the holiday. But the extra tip-up was closer to the far shore—state owned land—than it was to his side—the colloquially nicknamed region of Copper Thief.

Len huffed out a breath as a high-pitched zing cut through the silence and the mysterious tip-up across the lake abruptly swished to point to the star-filled sky.

Then a broad figure stepped out of the line of trees on the far shore.

The figure crunched out onto the ice, boots skidding below him for purchase. It was only then, when he was really looking for it, that Len noticed the jumping glint of firelight from beyond the tree line.

The person was apparently camping on the state land. In snow. On Christmas.

Interested in seeing more? Make your donations before midnight on Christmas Eve to receive the entire compilation, while making a child's Christmas Wish come true.  

Story Teaser: Home for Christmas by Jasper1863Hale

Home for Christmas was our first submission received this year, and  Jasper1863Hale has diligently supported our efforts every year that we've done the compilation - always ending her submission email with a note that she is on board for the next year, too. She probably keeps me more on task than anyone else - slipping me messages on Facebook to check on when sign-ups will start, teasing me with her story ideas, and just generally being awesome.

Home For Christmas
by Jasper1863Hale

Wrongly accused of shoplifting two days before Christmas, Carlisle takes punishing Jasper too far, resulting in the younger vampire running away. When the rest of the family get wind of what happened, they stand by the innocent party and turn their backs on Carlisle, who just wants his loved ones home for Christmas.
Realizing that his plan was no good, Jasper turned and tossed his passport onto the bed. He could just wait for Esme and Alice to come home from their shopping trip, but the chances of Carlisle making it back from work long before their arrival was a hundred percent, and the soldier didn’t think much of that at all. Even though Jasper was no stranger to punishments, even the more humane ones that his father and coven leader had adopted in order to keep his family in line, the actions of Carlisle toward him today had wounded the younger vampire—both physically and emotionally. There was no way that Jasper intended to wait for the patriarch to come home.

With his mind made up for a second time, Jasper crossed the room, moving toward the window, and pulled the sliding glass open to allow the winter breeze to swirl around him. If he chose to leave the house through the front door, Carlisle would smell him as soon as he returned home and would be more likely to follow him. Instead, Jasper jumped out of the window and landed on his feet with a faint hiss when the jarring caused his hide to ache. When he attempted another step, he walked with a limp into the trees, heading north away from his family home in Forks. 

I was so excited for this story, as the author typically does not write canon pairings. Even as someone whose favorite stories are non-canon, I loved it, and I hope you will, too. Only a few days left to ensure Santa delivers the Christmas Wishes compilation to you during his rounds. Don't forget to donate in between wrapping your holiday baking, shopping, and wrapping. 

Story Teaser: Disillusion by Speklez

Well, I had EVERY intention of starting teasers over the weekend, but spotty internet due to a ton of rain, followed by back to back holiday concerts for the heathens, my intentions availed to naught. HOWEVER, the internet is back on track, the concerts are over, so now, in between "assisting" Santa with some gift wraping, let's get to some teasers! 

First up is a snippet of an original fiction, written by one of Santa's helpers that assists me on the blog - Speklez.

by Speklez

The underworld is meant to tempt and corrupt the mind and soul. The illusions were not picky in their selection. No one was safe from seeing the unseen.
When an illusion goes unstopped, a chain of events follow that turn the demonic society on its head and leaves everyone to question just how far Fate will go to tie two people together -- including nearly killing one of its own to see it happen.
After taking just one more moment to bask in the beauty of the vassal, Damon looked up the rock wall. It was too high for him to jump and make it, so he figured out quickly that he was going to have to fly. It was when he was slowly and delicately pulling Serenity into his arms that he was pulled back to the reality of his situation and that he wasted too much of the time he didn’t have. His father’s voice broke through the sound of crashing waves, loud and crystal clear terror assaulting his hearing.

“Damon! Watch out!”

Snapping his attention over his shoulder, Damon’s eyes went wide as a startled gasp slipped past his lips at the sight of a wave that was an easy three stories high coming right at him. Having no time to think, he reacted on instinct, pulling Serenity under him as he bent over her, his arm around her waist to keep her, hopefully, safely tucked away. However, in taking the time to protect her, he didn’t have enough to brace himself for the thunderous impact of the water as it crashed into him.

Taken off-guard by the strength, Damon was slammed into the rock face, one of his wings getting caught between him and the unforgiving wall. The shock from the cracking bone of his wing caused a cry to rip from his throat, a momentary loss of his sight, and horrifyingly, also lose his grip on Serenity. Left panting from the pain that radiated from his wing and shot down his back, he blinked to clear his vision, a softer cry coming out this time as he watched Serenity being pulled over the side of the outcrop.
Not gonna lie, the banner alone made me want to see more of this story! I'll be putting up another teaser sooner, so stayed tuned for more enticing little sneak peeks of other stories.  If you are interested in reading the rest of Disillusion, and all of the other fabulous stories that have been submitted for this year's compilation, you still have six days left to donate. Just a $5 minimum donation to Toys for Tots not only provides a gift to a child who otherwise might not have one, but it also puts you on Santa's Nice List - and ensures he delivers the compilation directly to your inbox for Christmas Day. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Banners and Summaries Part 2

*dusts off hands, and stares proudly at empty inbox*

All the banners and summaries that have been received have been uploaded. There are still a couple of banners pending due to a couple late sign-ups - we are working with artists to get them completed, and once they are, we will be loading them.

I also have a lot of the stories already in my hot little hands! 

As a result of this fortuitous coincidence, we will be featuring short teasers from the stories over the next eleven days. Get ready, because there are some wonderful submissions this year! 

Don't forget that donations will be accepted right up to the stroke of Midnight on Christmas Eve. We are only at $250 thus far, and our goal of $1500 looks likely unobtainable. However, those of you who have been with me the past few years know that I NEVER give up hope! I won't call it until the last possible second, so please lease please - get those donations in. As little as $5 will not only provide a gift for a child, but will also net you a lovely little stocking stuffer of your own to enjoy over the winter holidays.

Story teasers start tomorrow! 

Until then, one of my favorite Christmas songs and Smooches to you all!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Banners & Summaries

We've received most of the banners and summaries for this year's stories. About a third of them are uploaded, and the rest will be up tomorrow. Check them out on the 2013 Banner page- there are some great ones so far, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Again, a massive thank you to all the authors, betas, and artists that help make the compilation possible - we'd never be able to do this without each and every one of you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cloemarrie's Family Traditions

Our authors tirelessly donate their time and talents every year, creating stories to fill the compilation as a thank you to everyone who donates. Since we have been doing more posts this year, we thought it would be fun if they shared some of their family holiday traditions. Today, we feature a little bit of how author cloemarrie's family spent their Christmases when she was growing up.

    Thinking back to my childhood age and the Christmases we’ve had always makes me smile. Even though my dad is no longer with us, those were some of the happier times we’ve had. Every year my dad made sure we had a good Christmas no matter if we had the extra money or not, because he cared that much.

    Every year for Christmas we had a big feast; my dad’s feast. He’d cook and my mom baked. My dad always made a turkey, ham, homemade stuffing (not this stovetop), mashed potatoes and gravy (homemade not instant), potato salad (homemade not store bought). You name it, we had it. My mom would bake at least eight pumpkin and sweet potato pies, banana pudding, cookies, lemon meringue pie, and cakes. We would have juice and my parents would have champagne.

    When we got older, about middle school age, my dad started a new tradition and that was popcorn and chocolate covered cherries. Him and my mom, every year, would buy each one of us kids a can (those big tin cans you get at Wal-mart, the ones with the three different flavors in it) of popcorn and a box of chocolate covered cherries. We looked forward to that every year.

    During Christmas we also would play Christmas music and, of course, we’d sing along. We also would tell stories and games.

Oh cloemarrie! Thank you so much for sharing!  Simple traditions seem to be those we make the fondest memories from. 

One thing that seems to be almost universal to Christmas is the idea that parents want their kids to remember them as happy times, no matter how simple they are, and no matter how difficult things might be the rest of the year.  I know for us, it was always a wonder to me how, even when I knew money was tighter than tight, the biggest wish on my Christmas list always made it under the tree. 

It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I realized how important giving was to parents. To see your children's faces light up, to know that, even for that small moment in time, the problems in the world could be let go, and wishes could come true. 

There is only two weeks left to donate. 

Won't you help us make some wishes come true? 

We are a long way from our goal, but every little bit makes a difference. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Visions of Sugarplums

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Everywhere you go. 
Take a look in the Five and Ten, Glistening once again, 
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.

Yes, yes it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. By now you have your trees up and decorated. You probably have enough tinsel hung to choke a fully grown elephant. Buddy the Elf is wreaking havoc on your home every night. Everything is perfect... yet something is missing. Where is the warmth, the love in the air? Until your home is overtaken by the smells of gingerbread and peppermint, it’s not quite there yet.
Humans connect most of their memories to smell and sound, and until Christmas is literally in the air with the smell of baking cookies and the sound of a child’s laughter, it’s not complete. Everyone has their favorite recipe for this time of year. Sometimes it’s basic chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies you let the little people in your house decorate.
Today, I am going to share a few of my favorite Christmas recipes.
The first one is a house favorite. It’s easy, creamy and oh so peanut buttery.
What you need for Golden Peanut Butter Bars:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter or margarine
1 cup finely chopped peanuts (or crushed... crushed works too)
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1) preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and the egg. Cut in butter until it’s crumbly. Stir in peanuts. Reserve 2 puts of crumble for later and press the rest in the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan.
2) Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
3) While that’s in the oven, in another bowl, beat condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla. Spread that over the crust then top with remaining crumble.
4) Bake for an additional 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Once it’s cool, cut into bars and enjoy. (store at room temp.)

The next one calls for no baking and instant gratification. It’s a base thing and you can make whatever actual flavor you want with a simple substitution.
What you will need for Haystacks:
1 cup Butterscotch chips (or chocolate, white chocolate, mint chocolate... getting the point?)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 tablespoon shortening (DO NOT use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
1 1/2 cups (3oz can) chow mein noodles, coarsely  broken.
1) Line baking sheet with wax paper. Place chips of choice, peanut butter chips and shortening in microwave safe bowl.
2) Microwave on HIGH for 1 (one) minute; stir. If needed, microwave in 15 second intervals (stirring after every time) until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
3) Immediately stir in noodles and stir to coat. Drop by heaping spoonfuls on wax papered sheet OR into paper cups (baker’s choice). Let stand until firm (about 30 minutes or so) and store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

The last one is the most Christmasy one. Cream Cheese Snowmen... ‘cause who doesn’t like cream cheese and snowmen.
What you will need:
1 package (8oz) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1) Mix cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda, mix well
2) Shape dough into equal number of 1/2 inch and 1 inch balls. Using one of each, place balls slightly overlapped on ungreased cookie sheet. flatten to about 1/4 inch thickness with flour coated glass. Repeat for all balls.
3)Bake at 325 for 19-21 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then the fun starts. With gels, candies, and whatever else, decorate to look like snowmen. 

(recipes taken from The Cookie Bible, Publications International, Ltd. Copyright 2004)

What are some of the favorite sweets recipes in your home this time of year?

Don't forget there are only 18 days left to donate to Toys 4 Tots and receive your compilation! Let Santa gift you for gifting someone else in return.