Christmas Reads-- Cross Country Christmas by Diana Dunca

Friday, 18 November 2016

 It's time to curl up with a cup of cocoa and a Christmas romance or five. I have a few on my Kindle and have started one today, but it will be a week or so until I’m ready to review that one. I can’t just sit back and let the opportunity to tell you about my favourite Christmas romance to date…

Last year I didn’t have time to read much before Christmas, but just after Christmas, I had met my word count goal—something I hadn’t done in months—and decided to reward myself with two chapters of a Christmas romance (better late than never). I chose Cross Country Christmas by a lovely author I have befriended on Facebook, Diana Duncan. Not only does Diana write sizzling romances, she also ogles men in kilts and posts snarky e-cards. I can totally relate. 

So, as I lay shivering under the duvet (it was a cold one), I started her steamy romance novel with the intention of reading two chapters. Just two…

I fell asleep just after 3am. I had read the book cover to virtual cover!

It was well worth the lost sleep. What a ride! More often than I can remember, I laughed. A few times, I cried. It’s one of those feel-good Christmas-y books with a helluva lot of sexual tension and more than one happily ever after. Oh, and a black and white cat. You know I’m a sucker for those, right.


So if you are ready for some Christmas romance, or just want a great read that will keep you turning the pages all night long, check out Diana Duncan’s Cross Country Christmas. I’m sure you will love it just as much as I did!

My Birthday Rings from Etsy

Saturday, 12 November 2016


Let’s talk jewellery! If there is one thing I am very particular about, it’s my jewellery. I wear the same earrings, the same bracelets, and the same rings every day. My favorite of these is my rings.


On my left hand. I have my engagement ring, my wedding band, and my great grandmother’s antique wedding band. All three together look as though they were meant to be, even though they are white gold, sterling silver, and platinum.

On my left hand I have worn the same sapphire ring for years. It is one that I made and wasn’t very expensive to make—microscopic diamond, lab-created sapphire, and sterling silver—but, I loved the way it looked. Over a year ago, I broke off the prongs on one corner of the stone. I’m still not sure how it didn’t fall apart at that point. Then about six months ago I split the band on the underside of my finger. Once I had been pinched off and on for nearly a month, I decided it was time for a change.

Since jewellery is important to me, I gave a lot of thought to what I would replace it with and finally decided I wanted stacking rings. I liked the way all three rings looked on my left hand, so I wanted something similar. I searched Etsy for the perfect set, but couldn’t find one that I truly loved. I did; however, find one ring that I adored.

The ring I found was from Winifred Grace Jewelry. It is called ‘Book Press Ring’. According to the description ‘This scroll is inspired by old metal bookbinding tools which were used to foil stamp intricate patterns into the covers of leather bound books.’ 

Books. My favorite thing. I had looked early on in my search for ‘book inspired’ rings, because I wanted a ring that was significant to me, to my style, but I hadn’t found anything in particular until now. So, I had a ring to start with. I just needed to find rings to stack with it.

I knew I wanted something with a little color in it, since the book press ring was solid silver and the third ring I chose would likely be as well. Further to that, I thought it would be good to have sapphire again. 

Sapphire is my birth stone and blue is one of my favorite colors. I also figured it needed to be an eternity ring so that it wouldn’t detract from the book press ring. After a lengthy search of Etsy (yes, it is one of my favorite sites), I came across a gorgeous sapphire eternity ring from a shop in Tel Aviv called Ardonn

My third and final ring came from the Etsy seller Emily J Design. The shop had a ‘Custom Coordinates Ring’ available in several widths (I chose 3mm) and a number of different fonts. Most importantly, I didn’t have to have it read coordinates. The shop offered to print anything I wanted on it. 

At first I thought ‘Once Upon a Time’, staying with my book theme, but that seemed as though it would take up most of the ring. Then, one night while I wrote and struggled to get through a slump in the middle of my work-in-progress, I found myself daydreaming about the day I would finally type ‘The End’. 

And it hit me. My third and final ring would read ‘The End’ in typewriter font. The seller was even kind enough to separate the words with enough space to allow each to sit on either side of the book press when worn together.

The set of three rings became a birthday present, with the first two coming from my husband and the third from my mother. Together they are the perfect symbol for my true self—the one I finally discovered on my birthday. I could not love them more!

If you have any jewellery that is uniquely ‘you’, I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment and tell me your story.

Reprinted from www.thisnewchapter.com

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