Merry Christmas!

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗


With my final post of the year let me share a few fun things:

In the book club post before last I mentioned that Taylor Swift and Zayn will be contributing to Darker’s soundtrack with I Don’t Wanna Live Forever. For your listing pleasure, here is the actual song:

Also, how cool is this? A free ebook program! Sign up to Romance Read of the Month Club with your email to get a free book every month from Barnes & Noble.


“Every second Friday of the month, you’ll receive an email with your one-time-use redemption code to download your free book. All of the books are full length and can be read as a standalone, so no additional purchase is required. Books are distributed to members via partnership with Barnes & Noble. To claim your free book, a U.S. account at B&N is required.” – Vi Keeland

I’m not sure if you actually have to be in the US to claim the book, but I’m definitely going to try! 👍🏻

Now that I’m done with the official bits, let me wish you a merry, merry Christmas:


Unless something unusual happens, I’ll host the next Book Club on the weekend of the 7th of January. But feel free to post and comment, I’m ALWAYS happy to hear from you ❤

If you are travelling, please do it safely, if you’re spending time with loved ones, be in the moment, if you’re working, do it with a happy heart. Let’s make 2017 a happy, green, and peaceful year! 🎉

And to a special lady who is going through a rough time in Oklahoma, stay strong, and keep fighting. Our thoughts are with you and your family 😔

 In closing, I’ll spread the last of my Christmas cheer:

Cute! 😜

And this one from Sharon:


LOL! 😂😂

Be well, dear friends.

Monique kiss

15 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. Katherine says:

    Merry Christmas ladies, hope you all have a happy heathy and peaceful new year and for all of us having a hard time stay strong, keep your faith and lean on Him xx 🎄🎄⛄⛄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WilderFables says:

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lissa Jeri says:

    Well guys…we’re almost through another year…thinking more world than just here on line. And somehow we’ve made it through again by the skin of our teeth. We never know what the next year will bring, let alone the next minute or hour, but it’s nice to reflect in the moment to tell you guys how lovely it is to pop in here every so often and talk about stuff most people in my life would never in their wildest imaginations think I knew anything about.
    For only the third time in the past 100 years, Chanuka will coincide with Christmas. Same source of inspiration….that light needs to brighten the darkness…but Chanuka is actually a rather minor holiday, more fun than anything. (Random comment…but went to a lecture about the history of Chanuka last night by a professor I had…um…45 years ago. And he remembered me!!) But wanted you to know what it’s like here in Jerusalem this time of year. First, the municipality distributed (today) (for free) Christmas trees, as they do every year, for Christmas celebrants. Can’t just go into a forest here, lol.
    I live about 3 miles from Bethlehem (which is a suburb of Jerusalem, sort of) but can no longer go there since I now have Israeli citizenship in addition to US. (Politics stuff.) But long ago, I could go and did and it happened to be the day after Christmas. And I wanted to tell you what it’s like for you who might never get a chance to see.
    There are rolling hills (brown, not sand but not green) around the area and the town in built up and down these hills. The Church of the Nativity is run by the Greek Orthodox, so it is an empty rectangular building with no seats or pews. Apparently you have to stand for the whole service in the local Greek Orthodox tradition. Towards the front of the church, there is an opening in the wall into narrow ancient steps that takes you down to the grotto which is the traditional location of the manger.
    Now many of you from the Northern Hemisphere associate Christmas with snow. Of course, Monique has set us straight about down under. But likelihood of snow at the manger? Um…it’s about 50 degrees F today and unlikely to go below 40 degrees any time this winter. But, rarely, very rarely, there’s snow in Jerusalem, and, therefore, Bethlehem. I’ve been in two rip-roaring snow storms here…but generally everything melts by 10AM…so all snowmen are built between dawn (or before dawn!) and then. But on that day I went to Bethlehem way back when, it had just snowed, a lot. So, ladies, my memories of Bethlehem, actually there is the city, are of a city with a coating of snow.
    Christmas Eve and Day are regular days here. Normal buses. There is school. Regular radio and TV. Bethlehem and the Christian Quarter of the Old City will have festivities, but we tend not to even think of it as a different day. If I hadn’t seen Monique’s post and having gotten gazillions of emails from US stores over the past few days, I don’t think I would have thought of it. But I’m glad I saw Monique’s post because it gives me the pleasure of wishing friends I don’t even know a happy, cheery holiday and a safe, healthy new year.
    Footnote: Hey Oklahoma, you’re O.K. That’s your mantra. Get through it with a smile and determination because you have other hills to climb…oh, and books to read.


    • Monique Lain says:

      Hey Lissa. What a lovely, enlightening post. And the lecturer remembered you? Holy smokes! Nothing wrong with his memory! 😉 I adore the idea of the municipality delivering trees, especially in a potentially volatile environment. What a lovely notion. Who pays for them? And I would LOVE the scratch Bethlehem off my bucket list, to walk those roads steeped in history and faith. On the subject of politics in general, nothing worse to ever come to man, in my humble opinion. Such a pity that we can’t just get along, that greed and fear keep us in these destructive cycles of judgement and separation. Aww, well. No point lamenting it. If history is anything to go by I don’t see the proverbial leopard changing it’s spots, the peeps OR the pollies. As always, your comment was a pleasure to read. Thank you for your well wishes.


  4. Sharon says:

    Wow, Lissa…how interesting was that?! Thank you for making the time to post. What an interesting area to live in, curious if you feel safe going out and about? Sounds like you get snow more often than we do, but that isn’t saying much.

    Katherine, I was thinking about you and your Berlin Christmas markets. So very sad. Pray for sanity to make its way back into our world.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Chanuka, …or whatever holiday you do celebrate. Loved our book club all through 2016….and how fun is it that we have a MOVIE to celebrate this Valentine’s Day!!! So exciting!!

    Thank you, Monique for all of your diligence on your blog. It gives me an extra special whim-wham every time I see that you’ve posted!!

    Special hugs and happy thoughts going out to Crystal!!!!

    Cheers to all!!! Talk/Type to you in 2017!!!!!


    • Monique Lain says:

      Hi Sharon 🙂 You are so welcome. I so love the happy-friendly chatty-girl vibe we’ve got going on here. Wish it was more than virtual AND it came with cake and wine *sigh* LOL! How long do you think the lot of us could take up a spot in a coffee shop (read wine bar) and talk books and the accompanying boyfriends?


    • Lissa Jeri says:

      I’m replying ages later… so hope you see this.
      This comment is your question about safety. I feel safer here in Jerusalem than I do in many places I go in the US. My girlfriend in Ohio had two very significant terrorist events in two years. Katherine was in Berlin. Whenever I’m in Times Square, I walk right past the spot where the huge car bomb was that didn’t explode. Over Christmas weekend, Chicago had 30 shootings and ten fatalities.
      Here? Well for a bit last year, my husband was out with pepper spray because of the knifings and I walked with a hiking pole… but that was to aid others since the terrorists came from behind. But there have been similar knifings in NYC.
      But…. when my son was 12 when we first got here…. he could roam out of the house from 6am to well past dark… and not a fear. Everyone takes care of everyone here. He knew he could approach anyone in uniform and they’d help him. Get into any taxi any time of night, ask to be taken home, and ask them to wait until the parent comes out with the money. And if parent not home? No problem… just exchange info and work it out the next day.
      Do I feel safe? You betcha. Are tourists safe here? More so than Rome, London, Brussels…. and a whole lot of other places. Just in case you were asking vis a vis planning a trip here. You must…..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Katherine says:

    Hi ladies it’s Christmas Eve in my part of the world. I just had to say I loved Lissa’s comment, like you Monique The Holy Land is somewhere I have always wanted to visit and I’m hoping and praying that stability returns to the region some day.
    Sharon, thanks for your thoughts, yeah I’m glad I was home when the attack happened in Berlin, the funny thing is that if commitments at home had allowed we would have been there at that time.
    Monique thanks for all you hard work on this blog, I enjoy it every week and feel as if I have so many new friends from around the world and also for your kind thoughts and friendship.
    Whatever you celebrate take care and enjoy x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monique Lain says:

      Aww, beautiful, Katherine. Thank you. It is wonderful to share our love of CG and books across borders like this. It never ceases to tickle me pink that we’re in a friendly chat here making a loop through the US, Ireland, Australia, and Israel in just this single thread. How wonderful! ❤ I’m equally glad that you’re home safe from your trip. And thank you for your kind words re the blog. It’s my absolute pleasure to share! Hope Santa’s been good to ya’ll! 😉


  6. Carmela Dimattia says:

    Belated Christmas wishes Monique and to your lovely readers. This year was extremely difficult for me and my family as we lost our beautiful mother a couple months ago. She was my best friend and she has left a huge void in all our lives. Being a close family we spent the day together supporting our father and each other and we still managed a few laughs. Thank you Monique for another great year with all your posts and as we eagerly await the next instalment of fifty shades I would like to wish everyone a very safe, happy and prosperous new year. I might not always post a comment but I read your posts religiously every week and at a very low point in my life I still looked forward to your posts. Take care ladies and have a wonderful new year


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