Sharing My Christmas Reads

I love this post.

Joanne Guidoccio

christmasreading2After surviving a grueling (but gratifying) November where I focused exclusively on my NaNoWriMo project, I needed to destress and start preparing for Christmas. To get into the mood of the season, I decided to look for Christmas novellas that can be easily read in one sitting.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to look too far.

Over the past year, six author friends–two Canadian and four American–have released delightful reads that transported me from the west coast of Canada, across the American Midwest and Southwest, to the eastern seaboard.

biggarnovellaWill a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that…

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A Highland Ghost and a Viking Ghost for Christmas

Did I catch your attention? You can catch my latest news in my December newsletter.

Jo-Ann’s December Newsletter

How to Write a Form Rejection Letter or Not

Being a writer I have ample experience in receiving the dreaded “form rejection.” They used to come in letters, but now they come in emails.

Typically they don’t refer to me by name, or my manuscript by title, or maybe they do, but only because they’ve inserted it.

The body of the missile is a locked and loaded rejection that shows no indication that the person signing the letter has read my story or knows that I have a name.
Perhaps they are sent by algorithms.
Thank you …blah-blah blah-blah, but no thank you blah-blah blah-blah.

I don’t want to sound like a sour orangutan looking for a banana, but I think they (i.e., The Royal They) could do better. After all, rejection is not a new thing.

“It’s not you. It’s me,” would even sound better.

Why has someone not created better letters?


I’m thinking I should offer myself as a rejection writing consultant. I would call my business: Fuck Off, Get Lost, Slam the Door, Yeah-No, Not Now, Not Ever.  

Hmm. I need to work on the name.

But I have the main idea. I will create three form emails to increase the likelihood that something said in the letter actually makes sense to the reader, connects to them in some way and perhaps even– and here’s a new idea–helps them. I will revolutionize rejection communication.

Email one star (for the really poorly written stories)

Dear (insert real name) have you considered taking a job with the telephone company?(supply a website url)  I wish you a happy and healthy future. Sincerely Evil Editor

Email two stars (for the okay story that’s so okay you snore)

Dear (insert real name) have you drank enough caffeine today? I recommend you down a bit more, say a swimming pool full of it, before your resubmit. Happy drinking. Sincerely, your mentor Evil Editor

Email three stars (for the good story that you’ve been told not to accept)

Dear (insert real name) take two pain killers and a glass of wine and resubmit elsewhere. We have enough (sexy vampires, bdmsers with an inferiority complex, billionairs with a weakness for chubby women,  mobsters from the underworld, aliens with two dicks – fill in the blank) this year and cannot accept your manuscript. Your secret fan, Evil Editor.

Along with the email attach a dancing monkey gif. Everyone likes a dancing monkey. Remember to dd a footnote that the monkey has not been mistreated in any way.

My apologies if I’ve offended anyone, human or alien. I needed to rant:)


How do you Like my Caricature?

I’m writing light fantasy and keeping with that theme of lightness I’ve moved over to more caroony covers, and now I’m using a caricature of myself on SM. What do you think?

The artwork is done by Vietnamese Phanduy on Fiverr. The original piece cost me $5. US and then I bought the commercial license for it, which was an additional $20. US. He’s easy to work with btw.

I asked people on Facebook to comment, and most liked it. Some said they thought it was fun. Two missed my real photo.

One comment that took me by surprise was from a haiku writing South Asian friend who said he didn’t really understand why I wanted to borrow a face, but assumed it was much the same as adopting a pseudonym.

What do you think? Any comments?

Btw, if you haven’t already, please, consider voting for me on Kindle Scout. I’m trying to get an Amazon publishing contract.

Amazon Kindle Scout Link

Launching Ghostly Tales to Chill and Thrill, a #free book #mondayblogs

Launch Day!!!

If you like ghostly tales that make you shiver, but also make you laugh, these stories are for you.

Cheating Death, The Gambling Ghosts Anthology

A saucy mix of fantasy adventure and romance

There is a teahouse in a small Pacific Northwest town where unusual things happen. A spicy collection of spirits, an eccentric tea-leaf reader and breathing humans fill the pages of this anthology with humor, love and a wee bit of terror.

Each novella is a stand-alone story published and well-reviewed on Amazon.

A Highland Ghost for Christmas

Librarian Maddy Jacobson’s best friend gives her an early Christmas present, a mischievous, Highland ghost.

A Viking Ghost for Valentine’s Day

Widow Abigail Jenkins takes the only job available in Sunset Cove: night cleaner in the notorious, haunted tea-house.

Confessions of a Pirate Ghost

Escaping the clutches of a mobster, art forger Harley Davis dives off a yacht in the middle of the night and swims ashore to a small town where the only light comes from inside a haunted teahouse.

The Biker Meets His Match

When Charlene Walker, a tattoo artist with a sweet tooth for bad boys, starts a boycott of the haunted teahouse, no one alive or dead is safe.



Buy the Anthology

Still not sure? Try the last novella for free:

Free The Biker …Link

And if you like my writing consider voting for Magic on Kindle Scout.

Kindle Scout Link

Staycations Rock #Mondayblogs

I have loved every minute of my staycation on Vancouver Island (off the west-coast of Canada).

My highlights.

  • savoring my morning coffee on my balcony, bathed in sunshine
  • going for high tea at the Empress in Victoria with my oldest granddaughter – catching a glimpse of what it’s like the first time and wanting to hold it forever
  • watching my gang of grandkids playing together in the endless sand at Rathtrevor beach in Parksville – the kite soared high – and the castles disappeared in the waves
  • enjoying simple meals with family from near and far
  • driving up Mount Washington to take in the breath-taking view
  • watermelon
  • eating freshly caught salmon with the fishermen who reeled it in – listening to stories about the ones that got away
  • baby smiles that make your heart melt
  • hummingbirds at my door
  • examining wooden boats created by the kids and painted with great care – “They float, Oma!”
  • eating ice-cream in Coombs with the goats
  • laughter, lots and lots of laughter
  • getting my first hole-in-one at the miniature golf course
  • listening to stories of life as a kid now-adaze – similar but different from my memories
  • watching the latest Pirate film on the big screen with granddkids
  • popcorn and card games
  • watching a baby take her first steps
  • watching a five-year old show you his first flip on a trampoline
  • And did I mention the taste of coffee in the sunshine?

Yes, I still dream of exotic European adventures, but the joy of sharing the local sights with family cannot be beat. I am blessed.

Today I’m heading out to do a tour of the Cowichan Valley vineyards and hope to come home with a Blackberry Port and more stories.

I’m not ready for winter.

‘We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.” ~Erma Bombeck


“Away” – from Pink Owl Momma on Pinterest (I can’t find the original source)

other photos on – Pixabay

Meme created on –  Canva

How About You?

What do you like to do on stayacations?