Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Blog & $25 BN Giftcard Giveaway with Nancy Haddock

Helloooo out there in Fang-tastic Books Blogland! Whatever you celebrate during December, may you stay safe and healthy as you enjoy your family and friends!

While I’ve never been bah-humbuggy about the season, I must admit I love the holidays in St. Augustine, FL, the setting of my current vampire novels. The season here kicks off on the Saturday before Thanksgiving with the Nights of Lights, an event that has its origins in the Spanish tradition of displaying lighted white candles during the Christmas holidays. Over two million lights festoon the oaks in the Plaza and most of the buildings downtown, transforming the historic district into a fairyland from late November to the end of January.

Then there’s the British Night Watch. This event traces its roots to the twenty-one years of British occupation of The Oldest City when soldiers drummed to alert citizens that it was time get to their homes before the city gates where closed for the night. Now re-enactors dress in British regalia march up St. George Street toward the still-standing city gates, their way lit by townspeople and tourists holding white candles.

So what does my heroine Cesca think of these events? Though she was only four years old in 1784 when the British returned St. Augustine to Spanish rule, she adores the parades and pomp of the present celebrations. In my first book, La Vida Vampire, Cesca lived with her friend Maggie in a penthouse apartment right on the Plaza, so she had a bird’s eye view of the lights during her first Christmas out of the coffin. Since neither La Vida Vampire nor Cesca’s second adventure Last Vampire Standing take place during the holidays, I’ll soon be posting several short-short stories on my website that feature some of Cesca’s early experiences in her new afterlife.

My new book, Always the Vampire, will be released May 3, 2011, and I’m psyched!

Here is a short blurb:

It might seem like I’m slacking on my duties as a vampire princess, but you can bet your fangs that I’m going to be the best Maid of Honor ever for Maggie’s Victorian wedding. I want everything to be perfect, even if I have to wear a bustle. But when my mostly-human honey Saber and my shapeshifter first love Triton both fall ill due to a magical construct called the Void, I’ll have to act soon … or forever hold my peace.

If you have a favorite holiday tradition, I’d love to hear about it!

Please leave a comment, and be entered to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card!

Also, please visit me on my website at, or on Facebook at


SiNn said...

Nancy I loveeeyour books and honestly id have to say

our family tradition is to make ordiments with the kdisa pics to sned off to their otehrgrandparents of the new school pictyre then we decorat ethe tree and try andget as many ordiments as we can on it then bake cookies and eat atradition turckeya ndham dinner whileenjoyin eachotehrscompany and watching tehj children opentheir presents

les121 said...

I live in Florida too, and I absolutely love the winter weather - a nice break from the heat, but not too cold. As far as favorite holiday traditions, every year my mom and I exchange one gift on Christmas Eve and it's always cute, holiday pajamas. We wear our new, festive pj's to bed that night and when we wake up on Christmas morning, it's like we're already dressed for the occasion! lol I haven't read your books, but they sound really intriguing! Happy holidays :)

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

I have not read any of your books, but they are on my TBR list now!



Margay said...

My youngest sister was born on January 6th, which is also Little Christmas, so we always keep our tree up until her birthday.

Lisa said...

Our family tradition is that we fondue on Christmas eve. It is different and fun and a great tradition!

There books looks amazing!!

debbie said...

I would love to read your books. One of my traditions is something I do. I take baking soda, and put a little on the floor. I then take boots and make footprints in them. Then the on Christmas no one can get up until I ring the bells which are santas sleigh.

mmafsmith said...

Your books sound great!

One of the things we do in our family is when we are opeining our gifts we actually take turns rather than everyone opening at once so that each person can show what they recieved and we can take pictures, ect. It is a lot of fun and makes the process last longer!

tina werner said...

we also take our time opening our gifts making sure to ohh and aww over everyone's treasures!

stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

Nancy said...

Good Morning, Fang-tastic Blog Readers! I again thank Roxanne for having me as a guest, and I thank each of you for stopping by!

SiNn, making ornaments with the kids is so dear, and using their school pix is brilliant. What treasures for their grandparents!

Les121, I LOVE your pj exchange tradition with your mom! How fun and clever!

Lane, thank you for putting my books on your TBR list! I hope you'll enjoy them!

Margary, it's good to see you! Leaving the tree up until after your sister's birthday is a lovely tradition!

So this won't get too long, I'll break now and continue responding in a moment.


Callie said...

I love decorating the tree with a fire in the fireplace. We sing carols while we do it and drink hot cocoa.

Nancy said...

Hi Again!

Lisa, I'm grinning about the Christmas fondue. That sounds like loads of fun - a twist on roasting chestnuts, for sure!

Debbie! Bootprints in the baking soda and ringing the sleigh bells? I love it! What family fun it must be to listen for the bells!

Mmafsmith and Tina, I applaud your traditions of taking turns opening gifts and taking pix. It does make the process last, and it's fun to see what everyone received. We do that at my house, too.

I know you all have things to do at this extra-busy time of year, so thank you again for stopping by to share some Christmas joy with me! Be safe, stay healthy, and may the season shower you with blessings!


SandyG265 said...

I like the cover of Always A Vampire

Nancy said...

Hi, Callie! A lovely fire burning, carol singing, and tree decorating. You really set to mood, and what marvelous memories you must make!

Thank you for sharing your special tradition with us, and have a very merry!


Nancy said...

Hi, SandyG265!

Thanks for your compliment on the ALWAYS THE VAMPIRE cover! The Berkley art department is amazing, and I've been thrilled by all the covers for my books. With the foil treatment on them, they also shine in person! :)

Happy Holidays to you!


Sherry said...

Putting up the tree with music blasting in the background. Then getting my Christmas cards ready to send out.

Robin K said...

My favorite tradition is opening gifts with my children. I love that I get to spoil then two times a year, Christmas and Birthdays. Nothing compares to a child's joy. Oh, and I love holidays treats!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Nancy said...

Sherry, you are one of those GOOD people - the ones who gets Christmas cards out in a timely manner! I love your tradition of decorating with music!

RobinK, I agree that there's nothing like watching a child's face light with joy and wonder. You're not spoiling them. You're making memories for all of you!

Thank you both for coming by!


Kim said...

Hey Nancy! I'm excited about your third book coming out, the cover and blurb look/sound awesome! Everyone, if you haven't read the first two of her books, they are great!

My son is only 5 years old, so we're still establishing our traditions here. One of the things that I hope becomes a longstanding tradition and is fondly remembered when he gets older..cookie baking. my grandmother used to bake dozens of different kind of cookies, and she'd do it while cooking thanksgiving, so for desert, instead of the traditional pies, we'd get christmas cookies, to start off the next season with. We haven't done that..but I do take one day usually the day before christmas eve, or christmas eve depending on situations.. and Stephen (my son) and I bake a million different kinds of cookies. He loves the kind that takes a rolling pin to make, he's so cute standing on a chair next to the counter rolling away. after our baking and flour flying is all over with, we pile up in the car with the christmas music channel on the radio, and go christmas light hunting and candy cane eating until we're ready to pass out. this year we'll be doing it on christmas eve.. we've also started the elf on the shelf tradition, with our elf Rocko vising Santa every night then coming back during the day. leaving cute little footprints on the counter, or half eaten candy canes in his hand. its cute and stephen loves it.

Dawn H. said...

Hello Nancy! Your books rock. Looking forward to the next one. My mom's birthday is December 24th. My brothers and their families and I and my husband all take her out to a really nice dinner. My dad did it while he was alive. We decided when we lost him nearly 6 years ago to keep it going. We also always plant 2 or 3 pots of paper whites. I loooove those flowers. Merry Christmas everyone!

oneidavid at aol dot com

Nancy said...

Kim, first thank you for your compliments on my books and the plug!

I can picture you and Stephen in the kitchen so clearly. Flour flying, dough taking shape, and Stephen wielding the rolling pin. And Rocko's antics are adorable! What rich memories you're making!

Dawn, thank you for your kind comments about my books, too!

I love it that you and all the family still take your mom out for her Christmas Eve birthday. I'm sure you honor your dad by keeping that tradition - and make your mom most happy! Oooh, and paper whites! I haven't grown those since I lived in TX. Enjoy!


Jason said...

Our tradition is to open family gifts on christmas eve so we can have the tree empty for Santa to leave his gifts over night. :)


catslady said...

I've started a tradition of a tree trimming party. It started many years ago when my children were young and we had an uncle with no where to go for the holidays. It has grown over the years to other friends and family and now my married daughter has a party too. We decorate, snack, drink, laugh and then I serve a nice dinner!

Your books sound fangtastic lol.


Amber said...

Nancy your books are the best! I found them on a vacation to St. Augustine and after seeing the cover picked them up on the spot!

Our family tradition is to get as much cookie stuff together and spend a whole day baking as many as we can while listening to Christmas music and decorating the tree.

Bethany C. said...

We sadly don't have much as far as traditions go. Except that my whole family, well everyone that can come, gets together at my aunt and uncle's on Christmas Eve and just gorges on way too much food. I'd like to make up a couple, but since my daughter is just 14 months, I have a little time to decide what they should be, and she'll never remember that we hadn't been doing them the whole time. Thanks for the contest!


Leni said...

The main things that seem to happen every year are playing Christmas music all the time, figuring out whose home the meal will be at, and deciding what dish to cook.

Nancy said...

Jase, I love the rationale behind opening gifts from each other on Christmas Eve so Santa has room to leave his. That's brilliant!

Hi, Catslady! It's good to see you, and your tree trimming party sounds like great fun! You really spread the cheer!

My books sound fangtastic? Great pun!

And thank you, Amber, for your compliments on my work, too! If you're ever back in St. Augustine, let me know! Decorating and rockin' around the tree to the blissful aroma of freshly baking cookies? What fun!

BethanyC, blessings to you, your baby daughter, and all your family as you gather this year. Since you don't have traditions yet, you might find ideas from these marvelous comments.

You're welcome for the contest, and my best to all of you in the drawing!

LSUReader said...

Thanks for a fun column. We have so many holiday traditions. One of my favorites was when our kids were young, we'd have them burn their letters to Santa in the fireplace on Christmas Eve, so Santa would know what to bring! Now the kids have kids, but their little ones aren't old enough do to this yet. I miss it!

Nancy said...

Leni, that "deciding what dish to cook" is a biggie! But if you have a choice of homes to hold your dinner, you must have lots of family and friends! Keep the music playing and the good times rolling!


marian said...

our new family tradition is doing white elephant every year. we have so much fun each year doing it and the presents keep getting crazier


Mystica said...

I still do stockings and my children are 28, 24 and 20!

elaing8 said...

A tradition we do is letting the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve. My siblings and I have been doing that since we were kids and now have passed it on to their kids.

Nancy said...

Hello, LSUReader! I love your tradition of burning letters in the fireplace on Christmas Eve, and I do hope your grandchildren will enjoy the tradition, too! How could they not?

Marian, I love White Elephant exchanges, and I'll bet the gifts are a riot! Do you have recurring item that show up year to year? I can hear the laughter now!

Mystica, I love it that you still do stockings for your adult children. They're never really too old for that tradtion, IMHO. Besides, I loved looking for things small enough to fit in stockings.

Elaing8, we used to open one thing on Christmas Eve, too, and that was always a treat. I'm so glad you've all passed on the tradition to the next generation!

These stories rock!


Tanya1224 said...

Your series looks great. Love the covers. I have only been to St. Augustine once but remember it being lovely. Lots of shops. I grew up in Southern FL.
for the holidays I enjoy the decorating and hot drinks. I don't know why I don't do hot drinks through out the year. I need to start. There's nothing like hot toddy's or Autumn punch done in the crockpot. Makes the whole house smell festive too. Please enter me in for the GC so I can buy some of your books please =)

booklover0226 said...

We always play board games after Christmas dinner.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Estella said...

Our only family tradition is a family dinner on Christmas Day.

JC said...

Besides get together dinner, we pick Christmas tree and decorate together.

Barbara E. said...

I think St Augustine is a great setting for vampire stories. Although I live in Florida, I haven't had a chance to visit there yet, but my son has and he enjoyed it - so much history there.
My favorite holiday tradition is to jump in the car and drive around town looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations, impressed at all the work people put into them.

Nancy said...

Tanya1224, hi! If you ever get this way again, let me know! I've been known to meet readers for coffee or ice cream. :) I'm not familiar with Autumn Punch, but I'll bet it's delicious!

Booklover0226, how fun to play board games after Christmas dinner! What a great way to make family time last!

Estella, I love it that you have a family dinner on Christmas day. You must have made wonderful memories!

JC, it's cool that you select a Christmas tree together! I used to love going to the tree lots, but one of our sons had allergies to most evergreen trees. I'm so happy that you keep finding the tree a tradition!

BarbaraE, I love looking at the lights, too! That's a big plus in St. Augustine. If you can't easily find neighborhoods that are decorated, you can cruise downtown and enjoy those millions of lights.

Thank you all for stopping by to comment, and best of luck in the drawing!


Nancy said...

I'll continue answering comments, but I want to thank Rox and all of you again for the warm welcome here at the Fangtastic Books Blog.

Oh, and my web mistress is having issues with updating, so the short stories will take a while longer to appear on the website.

Have a good evening!


katsrus said...

We open our gifts one at a time so everyone has time to see what we all received. Always have a nice dinner before hand too. Love your book covers. Adding your books to my reading list.
Sue B

Cybercliper said...

Hubs and I have only one holiday tradition and thats the annual gift buying. Each year we throw change into a jar and in December count it up to see what we have. Amazingly it's usually quite a bit. We take this money and go on a shopping spree for "Toys for Tots" for the Marine Corp and the police department. It's a lot of fun picking out the toys. annhonATaolDOTcom

joder said...

Our tradition is the box of crap giveaway. Every time throughout the year that I get any freebie gifts from magazines or other items sent in the mail, I wrap them up and people blindly pick one as their own. It goes to prove that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Jane said...

My favorite tradition is that we open our presents at midnight. We also like to make a non traditional dessert(cheesecake) in addition to the traditional ones(apple, pecan.)

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Nancy said...

Katsrus, I love taking turns opening gifts. It's fun to share in what other receive, isn't it? And to have a nice dinner before - that's a lovely way to set the mood.

Cybercliper, what a cool way to save for a big charity toy splurge! My dad (now deceased) was a Marine, and I remember us shopping for Toys for Tots.

Joder, I cracked up over your fun tradition! You and yours must have a lot of laughs over the grab bags!

Jane, how lovely to open gifts at midnight! Imagining the scene makes me smile. It's great that you enjoy non-traditional goodies as well as the good 'ole stand-bys!

Thanks to all of you for dropping by to comment, and may your days (and nights) be merry and bright!


heatwave16 said...

One of my favorite traditions is that my family always plays cards before we open presents on Christmas Eve. We all just laugh & talk.


Nancy said...

Hello, Heatwave16! How cool that you connect as a family before you open gifts. Dining together accomplishes the same thing, but you have dishes to deal with. :)

Thank you for stopping by, and have a fantastic Christmas!


chey said...

You are an new to me author. I like the sound of your books!
A favourite traditions is everyone going out one night to see the Christmas lights.

JenM said...

When I was a kid and living on the East Coast my parents and I always went out on Xmas Eve to look at the lights. When I went away to college, they moved to New Mexico, where instead of lights, many families (both Anglo and Hispanic) line their driveways and walkways with luminarias (made by taking a small paper bag, filling the bottom with sand, then putting a lit votive candle inside). So, now we look at the luminarias instead. They aren't as flashy, but they are so beautiful against the desert landscape.


Cathy M said...

The Saturday before Christmas is when my whole family gets together at my folk's house for a fabulous dinner, dessert and tons of laughter. Definitely one of my favorite holiday traditions.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Happy Holidays Nancy

Nancy said...

Chey, hi! If you give my books a shot, I hope you'll enjoy them!

I love that you and yours enjoy cruising Christmas light displays. They are magical, aren't they?

JenM, I've seen luminaries done, but not with a desert background. That must be gorgeous!

CathyM, the family dinner at your parents' house must be coming up on Saturday! Here's to another year of making wonderful memories with everyone!

Thank you for the holiday wishes, too!


annalisa said...

Our Christmas tradition is on Christmas Eve we get together with my side of the family and on Christmas Day we get together with my husbands side of the family. That way we get to spend time with both sides of the family. My husband is the oldest of ten so with the spouses, children (and the married children's spouses) and great nieces and nephews we have a huge get together. I think we are up to 66 family members now. Of course, not everyone will be able to attend this year since some of our nephews are stationed overseas in Iraq.

Linda Henderson said...

One of our Christmas traditions is to all gather at my sister's house and open presents, eat until we are about to bust, and then play games for hours. It's always a lot of fun.

seriousreader at live dot com

Nancy said...

Wow, Annalisa, with 66 in the family, I might need name tags! I'll bet all the kiddos have a blast playing, and I hope the adults have just as much fun. Blessings to your nephews in Iraq! May they come home safe and sound and soon!

I'll continue checking in for a bit tomorrow, but I thank you all once again for stopping by. Rox, I had a great time. Thanks!

Nancy said...

Linda, Christmas at your sister's house sounds awesome! Eats, gifts and games - perfect ways to connect!

Thank you for taking the time to stop in, and have another terrific holiday!


Stephanie said...

My family tradition is having way too many places to go for the holidays. Both sides of my family make their own holiday meals so holidays are filled with traveling to different houses.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

Nancy said...

Hi, Stephanie! I know that dividing your time between families can be stressful. When my children were young, I felt like I was packing for a week's trek just to drive from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. But it's special to have that much family.

Be careful as you travel, and treasure the time you have with everyone!


Dovile said...

My favorite Christmas tradition is swapping presents.

spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

Aik said...

My favourite holiday tradition is trying out new recipes!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

CrystalGB said...

Hi Nancy. Our favorite holiday tradition is to decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music and then turn out the lights and sit around the tree drinking hot chocolate.

Nancy said...

Dovile, hi! Grins on your fav tradition! Swapping gifts is fun at any old time of year, right?

Aik, I'm not the cook in my family, but I love that you try new recipes each year. Your family must love your tradition, too!

CrystalGB, sitting around the lit tree in a darkened room and sipping hot cocoa is a beautiful tradition! I hope you have some photos to commemorate it!

My thanks to all of you for stopping by with comments, and my best wishes for the happiest of holidays!


throuthehaze said...

My favorite tradition is decorating the tree with my family.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Nancy said...

Hi, Throuthehaze! It's great to see so many comments about decorating the tree with family, and I'm glad you have that tradition, too!

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

Oh, and the drawing will stay open to commentors (commenters?) all day with the winner being chosen tomorrow!


Barb P said...

Hi Nancy and Happy Holidays! We have several family traditions but on Christmas Eve, the family gets together and we make up the Christmas Day breakfast casserole. ( We fondly refer to it as egg mosh ) When that is all put together and in the fridge for the night, we then all pile into the car and visit all of the neighborhood lighting displays. Our area has many elaborate displays. We then come home and open 1 x-mas present a piece. We love the holidays in my house. I have read the 1st book in your series and loved it. I'm apprently a little behind, but I can't wait to read the rest.

stacey said...

My Favorite holiday Tradition is to make cookies for Family to take home with them after X-Mas diner and will I'm Making them I Got to try some of them out!Right just to make sher that thay taste right.

Nancy said...

Barb P, I think I know the dish you mean. I love that stuff! Sounds like you have a full and fun Christmas Eve, and I know this year will be wonderful, too! Thank you for stopping by, and for letting me know you enjoyed La Vida Vampire!

Stacey, of course you must taste test those Christmas cookies! You wouldn't want to give any of your family a bad batch, now would you? Have fun baking and tasting, and enjoy your family!

Wow, it's Saturday on the US east coast. One week until Christmas! Have a good weekend everyone, and stay safe!


tattgiff said...

we like to look at photos from previous holidays.
there are friends and family that are gone and it makes us feel closer to them to remeber when, it isn't somber --as we know we will see them again someday. it is good for our kids to "know" them, and the ways they helped shape their lives as well.
and then fudge, classic Christmas movies and one present each on Christmas eve.
tattgiff at centurytel dot net

Nancy said...

Tattgiff, hi!

I love that you look at photo albums and remember family and friends who have gone before you. What a great way to teach your children and honor your past, too!

You're the first to mention watching classic Christmas movies! My family doesn't get into that, but I always watch White Christmas.

Blessings to all your family this and every year!


Nancy said...

With a nod of her head, up the chimney she goes!

Okay, not the chimney. Maybe the beach ... later. :)

For now, I'll be using a random number generator to draw the winner of the $25 gift card. I'll notify the winner, and Rox will also have this information for her records and announcements.

A last heartfelt thank you to Rox for having me here, and to all of you for taking time to stop by with comments. I wish you all a lovely Christmas and the very best in the New Year!


wanda f said...

We always have dinner on christmas eve with my grandmother and everyone comes its mandatory lol and we love it no mattewr where we live we all come every year .

donnas said...

I really just like have a day to relax with family and have a good meal. Thats really the main tradition we do all together. And its a great day.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Tabathia said...

We love to watch the parades on tv and watch basketball during the holidays
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Hi Nancy,

I have added your books to my TBR pile!

Every year we have Christmas Eve dinner on my mom's side and Christmas Day on my dad's side.

Julie said...

We make a drive out to visit family every year and do our annual gift exchange and dinner. it's quite nice :)