Author Spotlight: Laura Van Hulzen Has a New Book and a Gift!
And, we have a winner! Janine, your name was chosen at random to receive a $25 Amazon gift card from Lara. She will be in touch with you! Thanks to everyone for coming by!
I do love featuring my fellow Tuligans on the blog and today I’m welcoming Lara Van Hulzen. Writing stories since she was a young girl, Lara’s dream of being a novelist became a reality with her Men of Honor series. An avid reader, she worked as a book reviewer for 18 years with various organizations. She has a BA in Journalism and a Masters of Divinity in Chaplaincy. Lara loves tea, baseball, and living in Idaho with her husband and Great Dane.
Giveaway! Lara is ringing in the holidays with a great giveaway for one lucky commenter–a $25 Amazon gift card! Just share, in the comments, your favorite holiday ornament for a chance to win. We’ll draw a winner at random on Saturday at noon.
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Hello and thanks, Nan, for inviting me to participate in the Author Spotlight holiday event!
Christmas has always been a special time of year for me. It’s a time that comes with so many memories – some of them sad, but most of them filled with laughter and joy and lots of time with family and friends.
My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating our Christmas tree. We tend to do so the weekend after Thanksgiving, although these days with grown children, it’s whenever we can all get together. I don’t mind being flexible with the schedule, as long as we are together.
I got married at Christmas so collecting ornaments began there. We received quite a few as wedding gifts and many of them are still in my ornament box 29 years later. Over time, I’ve purchased ornaments when we travel or to commemorate a special event so for me, decorating the tree is like a walk down memory lane.
The kids laugh at the ones that have their pictures on them when they were young and tease me and my husband about the ones that have photos of us kissing under mistletoe when we were just college kids. There are tears as well. My father died at Christmas when I was seven years-old so, seeing ornaments from my childhood can be bittersweet.
My Christmas romance released November 29th (Christmas Cakes and Kisses) and in it there is a scene where the two main characters, Tyler and Eva, are decorating his Christmas tree. He unpacks an ornament from his mom and shares with Eva how much he misses his parents and smiles at the memory of when his mom gave him the ornament. It’s a precious moment between Tyler and Eva and a scene in the book that is close to my heart.
I love to write romance and I love to write about families. I didn’t grow up in a big family, but I do have a life filled with friends who have become family to me. And Christmas is such a magical time to come together and celebrate. To laugh a lot. To give lots of hugs, and to do a little walk down memory lane, reminding us of all the blessings in life.
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and as always, happy reading.
~~Lara Van Hulzen
Christmas Cakes and Kisses
Eva Endicott comes to Silver Bay to prove to her family that she can make it on her own. Working in the local bakery, she’s determined to save enough to open her own cake decorating business. Winning an upcoming Christmas cake competition is the key to her dream, so Eva has no time for distractions, especially not devastatingly handsome ones that make her heart skip a beat.
Tyler Vance is the personal trainer for professional baseball pitcher, Drew MacIntyre. After following a retired Drew to Silver Bay, Tyler’s own future is uncertain. Things become more unsettled when a beautiful baker enters his world. Eva fascinates Tyler and as he gets to know her better, he considers planting his roots in Silver Bay. But when the location Tyler chooses for his training facility is the same one Eva wants for her bakery, something has to give.
With the contest deadline looming, Eva can barely think about Tyler. Until a blinding moment finally reveals her true feelings.
Is it too late? Or will a Christmas miracle give them both more than they ever dreamed?
I live the Santa booties my Mom made for me; they are red felt, white fur around top, white yarn for boot laces; app. 3” long and 31/2” high
I remember my boyfriend (now husband) kissing me under the mistletoe before he asked me to marry him. He had me sit next to the Christmas tree. He went down on one knee and asked me to marry him with friends present. Merry Christmas. God bless you.
I have mine from my childhood and my twin sons from their first Christmas… Pinecones owls.
I love the Hallmark Penn State ornaments my mom has gifted me with over the years. Reminds me of my time in school with good friends. Merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary to you, Laura!
It’s so fun to see everyone’s favorite ornaments! Some are from collections and others from memories. I have some of each on my tree. I have a few Disney collections: one is Mickey ears that are all different themes like Coco or Snow White… Disney also did a line of shoe ornaments too of which I have Dorie, Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas and a gorgeous one from Mulan. And it’s funny, now that I think about it, I haven’t seen much mistletoe in my life either! I was married at Christmas though so we did have it hanging around on our wedding day. 🙂
I love my ornaments. I’m finally on a road where my theme is realized. I have this large carousel ornament from Hallmark that I really like.
Merry Christmas! Sadly, I have never been kissed under the mistletoe, but I still have hope that it will happen someday!
I love my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer collection.
My favorite ornament differs from year to year. A few years back, we bought some new glass ones that look like vintage ones, and for right now they’re my favorites. I love your cover!
Mine favorite is a stained glass holiday ornament my grandma got from Poland! Really beautiful and still have it to this day!
My favorite ornament is one our son made at preschool. It is a small round white hoop covered in glitter with his photo inside. We put it in the top of the tree every year!
My favorite ornament is an old 50s light bulb that I painted in preschool. It’s so tacky, it’s adorable.
Denise M Austin
My favorite ornaments are ones that my children and grandchildren have made throughout the years.
This is my favorite ornament: is Santa kneeling at Jesus in the manger
Ornaments are so special! My favorite ones are the ones I have purchased on special trips taken through the years. Seeing them always brings back memories!
Doris H Lankford
I have a wooden bell my Dad made for me over 50 years ago. It has my name on it. I put it on the tree every year to remind me of him.
All my ornaments are special they are from trips we went on
My favorite ornament is a teeny tiny copy of Beauty and the Beast!! It’s so beautiful and vivid (although I have to hang it just so, to ensure the book doesn’t slip out of the cover)!
My favorite ornament is a little angel baby ornament which was given to me after my baby died in September 2000. I will never forget my baby but always remember the baby Jesus who was born at Christmas.
My favorite holiday ornament is one my son did in elementary school where his hand made the snowmen on an ornament! So sweet!
I have never had a kiss under the mistletoe. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing mistletoe in real life.