Thursday, December 22, 2011

12 Days of Christmas with Susan Denney

12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza is being brought to you by Peggy at Pawing Through Books, Jennifer at Books and Barks, and myself. 

Each day for the next 12 days each of our blogs will feature a different author. There will be guest posts, interviews and giveaways! So be sure to stop at each blog to join in the fun!

A special thank you to all the authors who are participating and those who have donated prizes!

Today's guest is:

Susan Denney

Listening to Christmas

I think short stories are perfect for the holiday season. We’re all busy and we have limited time, but we still need to feed our reading habit. So a good short story is perfect. And if it’s about the holidays, it’s even better! All of these stories are in the public domain and you can download them for free. The short stories are available at Project Gutenberg ( ) and can be read online, printed out or downloaded to your computer, Kindle or Nook.

Here are a few of my favorites:

“Christmas Every Day” by W. D. Howells. (In Christmas Every Day and Other Stories ) Long before this story was mentioned in The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans, it was a Christmas Eve tradition in our family. We always read this as part of our night before Christmas celebration. In this frame story, a small girl asks her dad for a story. And he tells what happens when another little girl wishes for it to be Christmas every day. As in The Princess Bride, the little girl interrupts her dad from time to time as he tells what mayhem is created by the wish. The results of her wish are satisfyingly horrible and, of course, it ends happily.

“How Santa Claus Came to Simpson’s Bar” by Bret Harte. (In Mrs. Skaggs’s Husbands and Other Stories ) So many Christmas stories drown in sentimentality, but this one has enough tongue-in-cheek humor to make the touching story acceptable to me. Simpson’s Bar isn’t a saloon but a mining camp in the California Sierras which has been cut off from the world by flooding. When “The Old Man” comes into the Thompson’s store and invites the fellows to his house for some card playing and drinking on Christmas Eve, they discover that the old man’s son Johnny is doing poorly. Bret Harte paints a vivid picture of life among rough men in harsh surroundings.

“The Kid Hangs up His Stocking” by Jacob A. Riis. (In Children of the Tenements ) Set in the tenements in New York City of the 1890s, boys in a group home realize that the smallest of their number has hung up his stocking on Christmas Eve. I think you can imagine what happens next. You can almost see the boys in their newsboy caps and knickers as Riis captures their dialect.

“Reginald’s Christmas Revel” by Saki (H. H. Munro).) (In Reginald ) Wickedly funny, this short story is about Reginald’s Christmas visit to an English country home. When you’re fed up with holiday sappy stuff, this is the story to put you back on track. If you’re not a complete Anglophile, you need to know that Boxing Day is December the 26th.

You may not know about a fabulous resource for audiobooks. I have had a lot of fun recording for Librivox (  ), an organization which provides free recordings of books in the public domain. They have a number of Christmas collections of short prose and poetry that you may download. You can hear me reading “Christmas Every Day” ( in their 2006 Christmas Collection. 

Susan is the author of :
Snarky and Sweet: A Romantic Comedy about Twins, Texas and a Big Red Diamond

Resistance is futile. 

Shy, demure, reserved Lurleen couldn’t possibly be more different than her gregarious, sassy, sarcastic twin, Lurlette. One is your kind stereotypical schoolteacher and the other is a man-eating adventuress. Whether they take you cruising in a Miata or busting out of a kidnapper's shack on a John Deere, you’re in for one riot of a ride. The novel moves you to compassion then spins you into comedic circles.

“I don’t see how someone can be broke with a diamond the size of a Cheezit on her finger.” 

Lee Landry is exasperated with her identical twin sister. Lurlette has just shown up in Texas with eighteen matched pieces of luggage and no visible means of support. Lurlette is married to multibillionaire Horatio Alger Chang, a software CEO, who lives in San José, California. When Lurlette realizes her marriage is over, she decides to move in with her sister. And even though Lurlette has brought jewelry, clothes and a Cézanne still life with her, she doesn’t have any cash. And the diamond on her hand is the Maharani Red, one of the largest red diamonds in the world with a price tag of 2.3 million dollars. 

Lee is a teacher at the only high school in San Pablo, Texas. She has a small condo, a small car, and a small retirement fund. She has never married but has a crush on a fellow teacher who has never asked her out. 

Lee has never understood why she and Lurlette don’t get along. Now that Lurlette is back, she knows her quiet life will be disrupted and that her bank account will suffer. What she doesn’t know is that her love life, her career, and her future will be forever changed.

Susan would be happy to Kindlegraph that for you.

Read my review of Snarky & Sweet HERE

To be entered for a chance to win a Kindle version of Snarky and Sweet please leave a comment with your favorite holiday story. Please be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win!

When you finished here please stop by and see Jenn at Peggy at

And be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Form to be in the big Giveaway!  ENTER HERE

Comments Always Welcome!

1 comment:

Susan Case said...

I have read "Snarky and Sweet" and it is a sweet romance laced with humor that is appropriate for young adults to the elderly (I'm a Senior Citizen so I should know). Thank you so much Susan for the wonderful links to great Christmas reading! And MERRY CHRISTMAS Christi - love your site!

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