The no-holiday blog

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Monday musings

By DelSheree Gladden

About two weeks before Christmas, my family and I start a holiday movie countdown of all our favorites. The Muppets Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story are always saved for last. The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are mixed in along the way. Occasionally I get them to watch the old Claymation Christmas movies I grew up on, even though my kids think they’re a little weird and borderline creepy.

Despite my love of Christmas stories, I tend to avoid writing holidays into my books and have never actually written a completely holiday themed book. The closest I’ve ever come were two stories I wrote for holiday-themed box sets. One was a Valentine’s Day themed novella turned full length sweet romance called The Crazy Girl’s Handbook, where poor Greenly gets tricked by her sister into meeting up with the blind date she’d backed out on while babysitting her two nephews and ends up mortified and sporting a headwound. The other book is The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook, a story of a girl whose life falls apart right before Christmas when her boyfriend, who’s been running her life for the last few years, walks out and leaves her completely lost and with a cat that won’t stop attacking her.

The full-length versions of each book really don’t focus on the holiday, and were just a springboard for the story. The holidays in both are, as you probably gathered, rather disastrous and not all what you’d typically except from a holiday story.

Thinking about these two made me wonder why I’ve always shied away from holiday-themed writing. I think it’s partly because holiday-themed books seem so limited. How many people really read Christmas romances in April or Halloween thrillers in August? Logically, I know this shouldn’t limit me, because a good story is a good story, no matter what time of year, but I hesitate to write something I think readers might look at and think, “I’ll wait until December to start that one,” and then forget about it.

Another reason I think I’ve largely avoided writing holiday books is that holidays are stressful! I always struggle to find the right gifts, find time or energy to decorate, plan events, force myself to go to parties, or get involved in cheesy games or gift exchanges. Writing about all of that makes me cringe. That’s probably why my two Handbook Series books center around such messy holidays!

The last reason I don’t write holiday books is because there’s an inherent timeline involved, and I’m not in a writing place that works well with deadlines at the moment. Having to finish something by a particular date makes me anxious, and then the words seem to bottle up, and then I get more anxious that I’m not going to finish in time. It’s an unpleasant cycle.

So, hats off to all those who write holiday-themed stories without losing their minds. I doubt I will ever be one of them, but I will forever enjoy reading and watching them.

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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New books to look forward to in 2019

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Your favorite bestselling authors are a hard-working bunch, busy writing new books for you to enjoy. Here are a few of the new titles you can look forward to.

Non-fiction writing Barb Drozdowich is working on a book (or a workshop) around the topic, “Are you talking to an empty room?” “My experience is that authors don’t understand how to figure out what is the best use of their time—things that are hugely time consuming and get little in results.”

Horror author David C. Cassidy plans to publish two titles in 2019: Gateway and 1944, as well as two more short stories in the Dark Shapes, Dark Shadows series, which begins with HauGHnt.

Find out more about David and his books and series on his BestSelling Reads author page.

Mary Doyle is especially ambitious. She will release the second book in her urban fantasy Desert Goddess series, The Bonding Blade in the first half of the year. She will also rewrite and release at least two, perhaps three novellas that she will probably call the Archimedes Ford mysteries, a spinoff of the Master Sergeant Harper mysteries. She will continue as a fiction editor on The Wrath-Bearing Tree on-line magazine. “My goal is to also write more essays which I plan to submit to veteran and war-writing magazines and online outlets,” she says. “I will also be producing a podcast here and there.”

Alan McDermott will publish the third and final Eva Driscoll novel, Fight to Survive, in June. He is now working on something completely new. Watch this space for more news about Alan’s new directions.

Find out more about Alan’s existing series and books on his BestSelling Reads author page.

Scott Bury plans to release the revised and extended Dead Man Lying, the third in his Hawaiian Storm mystery series, and the whole Eastern Front trilogy as a single volume that will comprise the three true-story titles, Army of Worn Soles, Under the Nazi Heel and Walking Out of War.

Find out more about Scott’s books and the genres he writes in on his BestSelling Reads author page.

Raine Thomas plans to publish Beautiful Finale, Book 4 in the House of Archer rock-n-roll romance series, and For the Win, a baseball romance. “I also want to be more involved on social media if life allows it!” she says.

Find out more about Raine’s books and series on her BestSelling Reads author page.

Caleb Pirtle III will publish the sequel to Lovely Night to Die by the end of February and the sequel to Bad Side of a Wicked Moon sometime this summer. Then he plans to launch a new three-novella series and is presently torn between two ideas. “By autumn, I’ll have it figured out.”

Find out more about Caleb’s many books on his BestSelling Reads author page.

Samreen Ahsan plan to publish Once Upon A [Fallen] Time, Book 2 of [Stolen] Series, around February. It is the sequel to her groundbreaking time-travel fantasy romance, Once Upon A [Stolen] Time.

Find out more about her books and her series on her BestSelling Reads author page.

J.L. Oakley’s goals for the year is to have her post-World War II novel, The Quisling Factor, ready for publication in late fall. She also plans to publish her collection of cozy mysteries set in Hawaii in ebook format by the end of January, and in paperback by March.

She also has other literary plans: “I’m attending the Historical Novel Society in June as a panelist on two panels: Indie Publishing and Civil War Medicine. I’m hoping that contact with Jake Wynn, the director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine for my panel, will lead to more research on CW Medicine for another work-in-progress.”

Stay tuned for news and announcements about every one of these titles. Better yet, subscribe using the link above to get news in your inbox, and get a free book.

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Happy New Year from BestSelling Reads

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All the best to readers and writers for 2019.

Individually and collectively, we have an exciting year planned. So stay tuned, or better yet, subscribe to our mailing list (to the right) so that you don’t miss your opportunity for great new reads.

BestSelling Reads: great authors, great books.

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