Yes, I've probably earned that nickname. It's not that I hate the holidays—it's more like I've been indifferent to them. I'm self-employed, which just means I have freedom to work all the time. (No, it's not always a good thing.) Weekends are often much like weekdays to me, and coming as I did from a small and not-that-religious family, holidays weren't a big deal to me. So I wasn't planning to do any of the usual rah-rah this time of year.

Peanuts Christmas Tree

And then, pretty much by accident, I inherited a Christmas tree. Of sorts.

My neighbors were moving, and as they were doing their final cleanup, they asked if I wanted this sad little evergreen in a pot.

I have a black thumb, mind you, and cats that have always managed to eat and/or destroy plants, so it's usually best if I stay away from green things. But the little tree reminds me of the pathetic one in the A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special. (Did you know you could buy a Charlie Brown tree at Amazon? Heehee!)

Anyway, to my great surprise, I told the neighbors I'd take the itty bitty evergreen.

I'm surrounded by full-grown ones up here on the mountain, so this little guy has a long way to go—but he gets to stay outside on my deck (which foils the cats) and I pretty much just need to water him every now and then. Or just let the snow fall on him. I figure he and I will do pretty well for a while, until he needs a bigger pot. At which point I'll probably just find a good place to plant him.

My tree got me thinking about celebrations in my fantasy romance novels. The celebrations in those worlds are decidedly…well, non-religious. The gods and goddesses in my books tend to be benign, with a few key exceptions—although they pay more attention to mortal affairs than the mortals might think.

And one thing that even the gods can agree on is love.

Sword and Lute is my latest fantasy romance. It's a novelette about how true love leads a musician who's chasing her dreams to a dying god—and to their second chance at life. There are no holidays in it, save the one new lovers make for themselves. 😉 Ahem.

If you prefer stories set in our world, peek at the books with the white covers below. You can check out all my tales at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple and All Romance eBooks.

So here's my question for you: What's YOUR favorite kind of celebration?

I'm participating in Carrie Ann Ryan's Alpha Male Blog Hop, so a lucky commenter from Dec. 14-17 will win a $5 gift card at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Starbucks, winner's choice—AND all commenters will be eligible for grand prizes like this:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

(International commenters: YES, you are eligible for Grand Prizes #1 & #2! Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, #3 is limited to those in the U.S.A.)

To be eligible for the Blog Hop's grand prizes, you must include your email address IN THE COMMENT ITSELF so the overall Hop administrators can contact you. GOOD LUCK!

  The Source of Magic

Click here to return to the main Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop site.

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“Cate Rowan charmed me with her fantastic worldbuilding about the kingdoms of Kad and Teganne.… A must-read for all fantasy romance lovers.”

Cover of Kismet's Kiss by Cate Rowan
—The Romance Reviews

“Rowan brings in the exotic, the magic and the passion in The Source of Magic. If you love magic and romance, you will love Rowan’s books.”

Cover of The Source of Magic by Cate Rowan
—The Pen & Muse Book Reviews

“What little girl (and big girl) hasn’t kissed their share of frogs hoping to have their prince appear? A fun, fast-paced, enjoyably modern fairy tale.”

Cover for Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale (Fantasy Romance Novelette)
—Sizzling Hot Books

“From the first page I was instantly transported into a well-developed fantasy world and couldn’t put my Kindle down until I had finished the last page. A fast-paced story with heartfelt emotion!”

Cover of Swords and Scimitars by Cate Rowan
—Amazon Reviewer

“So much sexual tension that the pages are likely to burn your fingers as you eagerly beg for more.”

Cover of Kismet's Kiss by Cate Rowan
—Coffee Time Romance

“A sweet, magical story. I’m so glad I found it!”

Cover for Flirting with the Fireman: A Romantic Short Story
—Amazon Reviewer

“Cate Rowan is a dream-weaver of paranormal fiction. Sword and Lute has a time-warp vibe fusing elements of Antiquity with the Middle Ages and fantasy. Emotionally enlightening and sensually uplifting.”

Cover of Sword and Lute by Cate Rowan
—Susan Frances, Goodreads Reviewer