Thursday, January 11, 2018

Once Upon a Christmas Moon by Christine Young, Genie Gabriel, C. L. Kraemer (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Christine Young, Genie Gabriel, C. L. Kraemer


GENRE: Fantasy/Romance/Antology  



Blurb Twelve Days to Love

When Archer Steele showed up at Calanthe Durand's failing plantation with an alligator over his shoulder, Cali thought she'd never seen a more handsome man. During the war she'd had to defend herself and her servants from both union and confederate soldiers. Independent and self-sufficient, she'd vowed to never marry.

But Archer Steele has different ideas. The first time Archer had seen Cali in town, he felt an instant attraction. He decided he'd do everything and anything to convince the beautiful Miss Durand he was worthy of her love. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, he gave her twelve gifts to in hopes she'd fall in love with him.



Christmas Pawsibilities
Genie Gabriel

“So where is this alien craft?”

Fletcher had never completely trusted Commander Viktor Atrocitor. Since he had taken command of GIG two years ago, the atmosphere at the agency had become cold and suspicious, like the man himself. He seemed carved from six and a half feet of granite, blocky and scowling.

“It has disappeared.” Fletcher knew this statement would draw Atrocitor’s ire and disdain, but what was the use of denying the obvious?

“Fool! Can you do nothing right?” Atrocitor turned to the GIG agents waiting at a wary distance. “Search the neighborhood. Someone must have seen something or is hiding them.”

While Atrocitor berated Fletcher, other GIG agents spread throughout the neighborhood, offending pretty much everyone by demanding they stay in their houses while their property was overrun and searched.

After two hours of fruitless searching, Commander Atrocitor called a halt. “If you want to save your career and this town, you will bring me these aliens within twenty-four hours.”

As Fletcher watched the caravan of GIG vehicles disappear down the road out of Watermark, he felt like a six-year-old kid again. Bullied and humiliated for his belief that beings from distant galaxies simply wanted to explore and build alliances. They weren’t like aliens in movies who wanted to destroy humanity.

That’s why Fletcher started working at Geeks in Green. He thought he found other humans like himself who believed alliances with aliens could benefit everyone. Now he was starting to believe the rumors about Commander Atrocitor being heartless and determined to eliminate aliens were true. How could he know for sure?

His thoughts were interrupted when Agnes staggered out the back door toward the barn. “Who’s disturbing my goats?”

With her hair disheveled and her clothes askew, she did indeed look as if she had spent a raucous night of partying—the after-effects of being zapped by a ray gun.

Laycee and Fletcher followed Agnes into the barn, where the spacecraft was once again visible. Now the hatch was open, with guards standing on either side pointing ray guns at Agnes, Laycee and Fletcher.

“Holy extraterrestrial!”

With a sizzle of purple, one of the alien guards fired his gun and Fletcher crumpled to the ground.

“Why did you do that?” Ryan hustled out of the spacecraft.

“He is of GIG,” one of the guards stated. “He is a danger to our Queen.”

“Is he dead?” Ryan knelt over Fletcher’s inert body.

“Simply stunned. We will revive him when the danger to our Queen is gone.” The two guards loaded Fletcher onto a transport board, which levitated and moved inside the spacecraft.

“Your mouth isn’t moving but I can hear your words.” Laycee’s shocked whisper matched the stunned expression in her eyes.

“Our Canine Queen is birthing and is not to be disturbed.” This time the alien’s mouth moved as he spoke, and he looked like any other human except for a twinkle of star light in his eyes. “Weren’t you getting milk for the royal puppies?”

“Yes.” Ryan refocused his attention on this task, determined to ignore Laycee’s presence. What was she doing here anyway? “Agnes, do you have milk from your goats?”

“My goats don’t much like to be milked.”

“Surely it can’t be that difficult,” Ryan said.

Agnes lifted an eyebrow. “You’re welcome to try. I’ll get a clean bucket.”

Determined to get milk for the Queen’s puppies, Ryan began stalking one of the goats.

“I think it should be a female,” Laycee said.

Ryan felt like a first grader again. “I knew that.”

Laycee coughed behind her hand to cover her laughter. “There’s a girl goat on top of the space ship.”

Ryan looked up the curved, smooth surface. “Maybe there’s another girl somewhere easier to reach.”

He stepped around the space ship and over the boards broken when the craft crashed through the roof. “There’s a girl! Help me get her into a stall.”


While Ryan circled around the nanny goat one way, Laycee closed in on her from the other side. The little goat narrowed her eyes at the humans and, when they were within a couple feet of her, she let out a bleat and ran between Ryan’s legs. Startled, he stumbled and dropped to one knee.

“Watch out!” Laycee’s shout made Ryan turn in time to see an irritated male goat charging toward him.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Christine Young

Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master's degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota's Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children.  Christine's newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.




Christie L. Kraemer

A traveler for most of her life, C. L. Kraemer has settled in the Northwest with her husband and two cats. When not creating a new world or entity, she likes riding next to her husband on their Harleys.



Genie Gabriel

I'm an optimist whose rose-colored glasses have bent frames and cracked lenses. When life kicks me in the teeth, I find miracles and lessons I refused to learn an easier way. In fact, I live with a small herd of miracles in the furry forms of dogs, who are constantly trying to teach me to forgive, to play more, and to love without limits.

I write about people who find courage and integrity in the darkest times of their lives, who rescue stray dogs and kittens, who find a person they would willingly give their lives for, and who make their little corners of the world a better place.
People have remarked my stories "aren't what they expected." With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, I take that as a compliment.



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My review: 

3.5 stars

Once Upon a Christmas Moon is a trilogy of very different stories that range from historical to paranormal to science fiction. “Twelve Days to Love” by Christine Love centers on plucky plantation owner Calanthe Durand who has managed to survive the Civil War, albeit with great losses, but still has plenty of obstacles to overcome. Archer Steele admired Cali from the first time he saw her, but getting past her wariness and helping her overcome the considerable obstacles she faces will require all the ingenuity this former northerner can marshall. “Boots and Blades” by C.L. Kraemer centers around gnome warrior Tiamoon who finds a way to combat her boredom by helping search for the missing gnome children from a neighboring village. Solving the mystery will require cunning and magic, and a belief in a legend that has roots in reality. “Christmas Pawsibilities” by Genie Gabriel explores the eccentric Madison family that Dori the time-traveling elfenchaun is about to marry into, and its adventures with the GIG (Geeks in Green) as they discover that all they’e been looking for may have been right under their noses.

This is a fun combination of stories, but I am afraid I don’t really understand how they are connected, especially since a Christmas moon only seems to be vaguely tangential except for the last story. “Twelve Days to Love” evokes the hardship and challenges of surviving the upheaval in the South after the Civil War and gives a glimpse into the struggles faced by women who must survive in that society. There are inklings of the way women find a way to wield power although I wasn’t quite convinced of their true self-sufficiency. The novelty of a unholy amalgam of paranormal creatures gives an interesting twist to “Boots and Blades” but it would have been nice to see more of Tiamoon’s prowess although I definitely enjoyed Pony. I love the inventions and the secondary characters in “Christmas Pawsibilities” that give the story a quirky flavor, and of course I was intrigued by the idea of an elfenchaun!

All of these tales are imaginative, but I think they were underdeveloped and the stories were a little unfocused, probably due to the limitations imposed by the length of the story. Hopefully, these characters will be featured in a longer tale at some point in the future. Those who like American historicals, paranormal, or science fiction will undoubtedly enjoy one or more of these tales.

A copy of this story was provided to me for review


  1. Really appreciate you hosting our anthology and taking the time to review our stories!

    1. You're welcome, thank you for sharing your story and good luck on the release!

  2. Thank you for hosting as well as the review. I would love to see your review on Amazon. Thank you again.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I always figure a story that did not resonate with me is not necessarily going to have that impact on somebody else and I feel bad when I drag a 4- or 5-star rating down.

  3. Thank you for featuring our Anthology on your site. Your honest review is welcomed and I'll take into considerations your recommendations regarding my little Gnome Warrior.

    1. I love strong females and was looking forward to seeing her skills against an animate opponent, lol. I appreciate all of you taking the time to come by the blog!

  4. The book Once Upon a Christmas Moon is an anthology of three stories. Each story touches three different genre: Romance, fantasy and Science fiction.
    Christmas Pawsibilities by Genie Gabriel is a fantasy story about Dori (Dorinda), a woman who can transform into a magical creature part elf and part Leprechaun (elfenchaun) and her future wedding with Ryan Madison in the twenty-first century. Lacee Levereaux, a budding actress, with a foreboding past becomes involved with the relationship between the future newlyweds. A broken toy, Ryan’s inventor uncle, time travel will play a part in this enjoyable, mystical adventure.
    All three stories are a must read for readers, no matter their genre preference. As a mystery/suspense author, I pleasantly enjoyed the anthology Once Upon a Christmas Moon.