Monthly Archives: December 2016

A Christmas gift you can share.

Christmas background with decorated branches of Christmas tree.

This Christmas you can share the first book of the Haunting Danielle series with your friends, and it won’t cost you anything! Simply share this post with someone who you think will enjoy the series, and have them click on the image to take them to the page to get their free copy of The Ghost of Marlow House. If you haven’t read the book, grab a copy for yourself!

Merry Christmas,
From Bobbi Holmes

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It’s here! The Ghost Who Stayed Home, Book 11 of the Haunting Danielle series

400-hautingdanielle_book11

Left alone at Marlow House with Sadie and Max, Walt expects Danielle and Lily to return by the end of the week. When they don’t, he begins to wonder what happened to them.

The ghost of Marlow House doesn’t scare six-year-old Evan MacDonald. When the child sneaks into the house in the middle of the night, seeking Walt’s help, the resident spirit learns something has happened to Danielle and Lily.

Can a ghost confined to Marlow House and a pint-sized medium bring the people they love home?

Available at your favorite eBook store: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords.

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The story behind The Story of the Christmas Village

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Twenty-four years ago my father, Walt Johnson, passed away on December 10th. His first name might sound familiar—I borrowed it for one of my lead characters in the Haunting Danielle series.

Our family (my husband and two small children) moved to Lake Havasu (where I had lived as a teenager) in 1991, to help my parents run Havasu Palms. I wrote about that experience in Where the Road Ends, Havasu Palms Recipes and Remembrances, and again in Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover.

At the time, my father had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and he would pass away about a year after we moved to Havasu Palms.  The Story of the Christmas Village began shortly before Dad’s last Christmas, in 1991.

Scott, our oldest, was twelve that year, and our youngest, Elizabeth, was nine. It was a few weeks before Christmas, and I needed to give them something to do, so I handed them a stack of index cards, scissors, tape, and colored markers, and told them to make a village. And they did. They created an imaginative Christmas village, complete with a windmill, bridge, and houses with lights on the eves and cozy fireplaces inside the homes.image025

My mother was quite impressed with her grandchildren’s accomplishment, and proudly arranged the village around her Christmas tree. When Christmas was over, she carefully packed the village away in a large cardboard box.

Time passed. The years rolled by. Dad was gone, we lost Havasu Palms, and we were now living across the lake in Lake Havasu City.

Mom was visiting my sister when Don and I decided to empty the storage unit we had been renting. One of the boxes we found there contained the Christmas village.  Mom had given me strict instructions to take care in handling her precious village.

Unfortunately, the storage box was huge, and we had nowhere to keep it. I came up with an idea—photograph the village and write a story about it, which I would then self-publish as a Christmas gift for Mom.

I never intended for the book to be anything other than a gift for Mom. I never intended to offer it to the public. But then my sister happened.

Before my sister Lynn retired a couple of years ago, she was an elementary school teacher—over the years teaching first, second, and kindergarten classes. That year I gave Mom the book, I also gave a copy to my sister. Lynn did something with the book that I never expected. She read it to her class every year before Christmas, and her students loved it!  After reading the book with the class, she image039would have them make their own village with index cards.

Lynn urged me to publish the book. Actually, she wanted me to package it with index cards and markers.  I met her half way, and self-published the book, first through Lulu and then with Amazon.

It’s never been a big seller. Some who’ve read it, love it—and get what it’s about. After reading the book with their young children some readers get out the index cards and markers, and the real fun begins. Of course, there are some who pick up the book and scowl, wondering why I bothered publishing an obviously personal story that only my family could enjoy.

But of course…not every book appeals to every reader. Not even The Story of the Christmas Village.

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Looking for a ghostly Christmas tale?

How about a really good chocolate Christmas cookie?

christmas winter background with wooden planks

Christmas is just eleven days away,  and if you’re looking for a cozy Christmas book to curl up with,  check out The Ghost Who Came for Christmas.

While I advise reading the books in the Haunting Danielle series in order (this is Book 6), it isn’t critical for enjoying the story.

With a house full over the Christmas holiday, Danielle has been spending a great deal of her time baking—recreating culinary memories and holiday traditions from her childhood. One of those is a chocolate drop cookie borrowed from my own childhood.

If you are in the mood for baking, here’s the recipe.

Chocolate Drop Cookies

This cookie was a Christmas tradition when I was a child. During the holidays my paternal grandmother, Madeline, would fill a roasting pan with chocolate chip cookies and the chocolate drop cookie. My father (the original Walt) loved both, yet I believe the chocolate drop was his favorite. These are moist cake-like cookies, a delight to any chocolate lover! But don’t over-bake!

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon of warm water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate (melted)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375º. Cream together sugar and shortening. Stir in egg, milk, then remaining ingredients, one by one. Blend well. Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes (Do not overcook!) Frost while warm. About 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Drop Cookie Frosting

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cream or milk
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together sugar and cream. Add melted chocolate, stir well. Add vanilla, mix thoroughly. Frost warm cookies.

 

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Haunting Danielle coming to audio books!

This afternoon I received the fully executed contract back from Tantor Media, who recently purchased the audio rights to the first three books in the Haunting Danielle series. In 2017 The Ghost of Marlow House, The Ghost Who Loved Diamonds, and The Ghost Who Wasn’t will be available for digital download for audio books, as well as available on CD.

In the meantime, Book 11 of the Haunting Danielle series—The Ghost Who Stayed Home—is slated for eBook release in a couple days, on December 16, 2016.  My cover designer is currently on sick leave after surgery, so the paperback versions will have to wait another month or so to hit Amazon.

I also have another pre-order available—Book 12 of the series, The Ghost and the Leprechaun which you can grab now. It won’t cost you anything until the book goes live in March.

 

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