Tag Archives: christmas

My Christmas Story


If you’ve read any of my posts before you might have heard about a little Christmas story I wrote. Well when I say Christmas story this isn’t exactly a merry jaunt through festivity, but it does have snow – and gun fire. Safe Haven is part of my Reacher series and I’m battling through book 3 at the moment, but it’s set in the summer and this cold wintery weather isn’t helping much with the setting. So Safe Haven is my go to read to beckon in Christmas as I wait for snow.

The book has had lots of downloads this month, it’s free and surging through the rankings. I’m really hoping to hit a top ten somewhere so if you can download the story I’d really appreciate it. And hey these people liked it:

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, September 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Safe Haven (Kindle Edition)
This is definitely a page turner with a riveting storyline, and it will keep you guessing about the purpose of it all. I had a lot of fun reading this one. I thought the writing style was easy to read but not simple or written with clichés like other books. Basically I really enjoyed this book. The purpose of fiction is to tell a story that causes the reader to enter another world and Safe Haven did that for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little short story, December 29, 2013
Scott A. Martin (Lawrenceville, Georgia USA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Safe Haven (Kindle Edition)
This great little short story sets the stage for the rest of the Reacher stories. It clues us in to how and why The Running Game came to be. I thoroughly enjoyed this as well as The Running Game and highly recommend anything in this series from this author;
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent follow up!, January 22, 2014
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This review is from: Safe Haven (Kindle Edition)
I cannot wait for the second book, but this was a brilliant teaser/back story I am absolutely taken with these characters and cannot wait to find out more!
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Vardin Village

Another festive book on special offer today. Check out Vardin Village by Maggie Spence and let us know what you think.


Sixteen-year-old, George Vardin, lives in a crappy, ramshackle cottage with no electricity and a roof that’s about to implode. The creaky front porch overlooks the magnificent ancestral mansion that his father lost because of his drug abuse. George is not sure which is more breathtaking; the view or the irony.

George’s life is about to suck even more because school starts next week and he can’t scrape up enough money to pay his cell phone bill let alone the fee to play varsity football. Uncle Morris shows up and offers a creative solution to keep George and his sister together under one roof. It’s a much larger, less leaky roof, with a breathtaking view of the crappy, ramshackle cottage. Crafty Morris reveals a secret tunnel that leads to the mansion and consequently some Vardin family secrets that will make junior year unforgettable.


Download from Amazon on special offer today.

Santa Claus Drives a Spaceship (Part Two)

Here’s part two of Santa Claus Drives a Spaceship…


Santa’s Spaceship

The stars we see twinkling in the night sky are other Suns like ours, and they are far away. The nearest is the Alpha Centauri binary (binary means there are two) star system, and it is 4.2 light years away. The distances between stars is measured in light-years, a light-year is the distance light travels in one year. Light moves fast, its speed is 186,000 miles per second, so in 4.2 years it will have traveled a long distance.

The space between the stars is mostly empty, and so there is no friction and a spaceship could in theory move so fast that it could travel the large distances in reasonable times. But it so happens that the amount of fuel and the time required to move that fast are both so large, that this does not work. But there is another way.

The very great scientist Professor Albert Einstein discovered a way to travel between stars in a reasonable time. He called his discovery Time Contraction. It turns out that if a spaceship goes fast enough, as it approaches the speed of light then time slows down for it, time passes slower for it. As the spaceship approaches the speed of light time is said to contract, that is it slows down for the ship and people in it. Since time has slowed down for Santa Claus in his spaceship, he has time to visit all the children. Professor Einstein’s discoveries are so wonderful (he discovered and gave us atomic energy as well as interstellar space flight) that I will show you a picture of him, here it is.


Professor Albert Einstein

 In order to reach light speed Santa’s spaceship must accelerate rapidly for some time (but not so rapidly as to possibly harm him and his Elf helpers). To do this requires a lot of energy, so much that ordinary chemical fueled rockets will not work. After thinking about this for a while, Santa had a brilliant idea; why not use atomic energy to propel the spaceship? Santa knows that atomic reactions supply much more energy than chemical reactions, about a million times more, and so atomic energy would do the job; but where to get the atomic reactor to supply the atomic energy?

It turned out there was a U.S. Navy surplus reactor available that would do the job. The Navy had a two stage liquid sodium to water uranium powered reactor that used to propel an atomic submarine, but the submarine was taken out of service. When the Navy learned that Santa Claus needed the reactor to help bring children Christmas gifts across the universe, they gave the reactor to him.

On the submarine the reactor’s heat generated high pressure steam that by going through a turbine (a turbine has blades something like a fan) turned the turbine’s blades that then turned the submarine’s propellers, but now in Santa’s spaceship the reactor’s high pressure steam jets out into space from the rear of Santa’s spaceship, propelling it like a rocket to near light speed.

Santa still has his sleigh and reindeer, he takes them with him on the spaceship, and when the ship arrives off they go! (there is a picture of Santa, sleigh and reindeer at the rear of this ebook). The spaceship ensures that every little boy and girl will get a visit from Santa, no matter where they are. The movie ET (Extra Terrestrial) told about a space alien named ET who visited Earth and made friends here with a little boy, before he returned home. ET asked me to say hello for him to all you boys and girls on Earth, and I told him, “Why not say it yourself?” and he said OK. ET cannot say hello to you in person, but here is a picture of him saying hello to you.


Hello boys and girls of Earth, I am ET and I send you my best wishes for a very Merry Christmas.


I know that ET does not look like us, but he is a very nice and friendly person. If you have ouchies he heals them with his glowing fingertip. Just because someone does not look just like us, is no reason we cannot be good friends, boys and girls please remember that. ET tells me he is planning a return visit to Earth soon, and maybe you will see him.

My job is to help Santa with his spaceship, and I have to go now. It has been very nice telling you about Santa Claus and his spaceship, I enjoyed it and I hope you did too.

Goodbye and a very Merry Christmas to you personally!


Phillip Duke Ph.D. Author


Hi boys and girls, my sack is full of goodies for you, and I will be there soon!


I have written and published several ebooks that you might like to read. One ebook is about Interstellar Space Flight, snd its title is “Interstellar Space Flight Is Not So Difficult.” If you are interested in flying you will like “Principles Of Flight” and if you play Chess I have an ebook for you titled “Chess Theory.” If you like reading Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson detective mystery stories, I have written several. All my ebooks are listed, briefly described and linked on my website Philduke.weebly.com. The website has five ebook Carousels, come visit and spin them!

If for any reason you want to read a specific ebook of mine but there is a problem with purchasing it, just email me the ebook’s title, and I will send the ebook to you. My email address is drpduke@wmconnect.com and you are invited to email me anytime. Some ebook covers are shown below.





Detective Sherlock Holmes And Doctor James Watson.


I close with a picture of Santa Claus, who says good-bye for now, and a very Merry Christmas to you!


Big thanks to Phillip Duke and a Merry Christmas to him too!

Santa Claus Drives a Spaceship

Is your tree up yet? Are you getting in the festive spirit? Well I’ve got something to help. Author Phillip Duke has written a short Christmas story especially for Limelight which is guaranteed to get you in the mood for Christmas, whatever galaxy you’re in…


Santa’s Spaceship A Christmas Story


Phillip Duke Ph.D.

Copyright Phillip Duke Ph.D. all rights reserved.

With 1362 words and 10 illustrations.



In the old days when the universe was seen as being much smaller, Santa Claus could get around very well with a sleigh pulled by his seven energetic and strong reindeer named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. Here is a picture of Santa’s original eight Reindeer, Rudolf joined them later.



Santa’s Reindeer.


Now that the universe is known to be much bigger, Santa Claus still is able to get around with his sleigh and reindeer here on Earth, but how about all the other children? How about the children on other worlds in our star cluster we call “The Milky Way?” They want Christmas presents too, and Santa has to give them a visit as well as all the children here on Earth. And, how about the children in other star clusters, called galaxies? They want Santa to come but they are very far away. Here is a picture of a distant star galaxy where many children are eagerly awaiting a visit from Santa Claus.

Even though the children on other worlds are very far away in space, Santa Claus is very resourceful, and he designed a spaceship so he can go and visit them. Santa’s Elves built the spaceship under his direction, in the giant workshop where the Christmas toys are made. Santa’s spaceship employs the latest spaceship technology, and with it he can visit children all over the universe in just one night. How is it possible, you ask, for Santa to go so far in just one night’s time?

I will tell you how it is possible, by telling you how Santa’s spaceship works. It may be a little hard for you to understand everything I say, but that is OK, you do not have to understand it, you just have to know that it works, and by using it Santa Claus will visit every child in the universe this coming Christmas eve.


Santa Claus says “Hi! I am coming to visit you soon!”

Tune in tomorrow to read all about Santa’s spaceship.

More About Phillip Duke: Philduke.weebly.com

Contested Christmas

Another Christmas Cracker – sorry I can’t help myself with the puns – take a look at Contested Christmas by C Dale Brittain, a commentary about Christmas celebrations and origins.

Ah, the “true meaning of Christmas.”  Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s one hears the term constantly, on everything from made-for-TV movies playing essentially non-stop, to exhortations that we all wish each other Merry Christmas rather than Happy Holidays, to websites devoted to tips on crafting handmade ornaments.

But the “true meaning of Christmas” is highly contested.  Most would agree that over-commercialization is ruining Christmas, even as great piles of expensive and beautifully wrapped presents, to make children’s eyes glow with excited anticipation, are considered part of the season’s true meaning.

Magazine articles in November and December routinely urge readers to simplify their holiday celebrations to avoid stress and over-spending, even while other magazines—and often the same ones!—show elaborately decorated interiors, provide recipes for lavish feasts, and contain ads promoting luxury purchases.

Christmas is supposed to require snow, even though in the US, where the song “White Christmas” is recorded by dozens of artists, the majority celebrate the holiday with no snow on the ground.  And in the southern hemisphere, including Australia, Christmas comes in the middle of the summer.  (December snow, interestingly, puts one in the Christmas spirit, while January snow makes one yearn for Florida.)  Family, faith, and friendship are identified with 4H and with Kwanzaa, yet are also considered true aspects of Christmas.

Part of the true meaning of the Christmas season revolves around its (relative) shortness, extending only from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.  During a period of not much over a month, it is expected that we will pack in a good six months’ worth of shopping, decorating, eating, socializing, worshipping, and attending concerts—not to mention relaxing and taking it all in.  Everybody knows about the Twelve Days of Christmas, which traditionally began on Christmas Day and ended on January 6, the Feast of the Wise Men.  But in practice the US has forty days or so of Christmas, and the season is definitely over well before Twelfth Night.

(New Year’s both recapitulates the gaiety and celebration that are supposed to define Christmas and marks the end of the season.  It’s easy to tell what Christmas is over.  It’s when the TV news anchors and sports commentators remove the poinsettias from their desks.  This happens January 2.)

The holiday comes laden with powerful and conflicting expectations, expectations that require a great deal of work, organizing, and spending in order to achieve the simple joys that are supposed to convey its true meaning.   The season is intended to be one of mirth and joy, and so we set to work with grim seriousness to make sure that the mirth’s meaning is properly joyous.  As everyone strives to make this the best (and doubtless truest) Christmas ever, it is worth pondering:  why is Christmas the only holiday that gets to have a true meaning?

It certainly isn’t the religious aspect that makes Christmas special.  You never see a heart-warming TV movie about a family discovering the true meaning of Easter.  Yet Easter is a much more important Christian holiday than is Christmas.  Easter has been celebrated since the earliest church, but Christmas began only as a fourth-century reaction to pagan efforts to make December 25 a birthday for the sun-god Apollo.  After all, anyone can have a birthday, but rising from the dead has got to be special.

Incidentally, the winter solstice on December 21, Christmas (and Apollo’s birthday) on the 25th, and New Year’s are now spread out over a ten day period, but originally they were all celebrations of the darkest day of the year, the solstice, and the beginning of the sun’s return as the days start to grow longer.  Keeping track of that pesky leap year, celebrated every four years except when it’s not, messes calendars right up.

The darkest days of the year were an important time for celebration long before the spread of Christianity.  The Romans, the Greeks, the Babylonians, everyone had one or more holidays or feasts around that time, times for food and drink, for merry-making with friends, for gifts, and often for a fairly raucous breakdown of normal social conventions.  It is perhaps ironic that many of these ancient pagan aspects are continued in what is supposed to be a thoroughly Christian holiday.

Comparing the celebrations of Christmas and Easter indicates how differently the holidays are viewed.  When was the last time you saw a billboard, “Keep Christ in Easter”?  Probably never.  How many singers bring out an Easter album?  Remarkably few.  How many radio stations blast the airways with Easter songs non-stop all during Lent?  None at all.  Compared to big discussions of whether Santa Claus is a jolly old elf, a saint, or a satanic being (in Dijon in 1951, the cathedral priests burned Père Noël in effigy on Christmas Eve as a pagan impostor), the Easter Bunny gets off remarkably easy.  For a great many people, Easter means chocolate eggs and new spring outfits, and maybe that annual attendance at church.

Perhaps it is not worth thinking too deeply about rabbits, a symbol of promiscuity in most cultures, laying little brown pellets that children are encouraged to eat.  Sex and coprophagia, not a good combination.  At least the rabbits do not represent any “true meaning.”


You can read more by downloading the book from Amazon

The Scent of Roses – Countdown

I featured an exclusive from Margaret Brazear’s The Scent of Roses a couple of weeks ago and now this great book is on countdown promotion. Until the 9th you can download the story starting from $0.99 (normal price $3.99). Perfect for a Christmas night in.


To save her father from debtor’s prison and the noble name of her family from disgrace, Lady Felice Sutton agrees to marry Lord Christopher despite his reputation for violence and ruthlessness. She is grateful and is determined to make him a good wife, but his reputation is well earned and she finds being a good wife to him to be far more difficult than she ever suspected. She wants to love him, wants to have a future with him, but she is afraid to ask him why his first wife lies buried in a pauper’s grave, or why he still visits the peasant woman who has his children.
But when Lord Christopher discovers his peasant mistress dead, and immediately suspects Felice of poisoning her, she learns just how merciless he can be.

Set in England amid the black death of 1348, a pestilence which wiped out millions,
this is a story of love and passion, jealousy and sacrifice, and one woman’s quest to find goodness in a man who appears to have none to find.


Download this book on promotion from Amazon before 9th of December only $0.99


Christmas Pie Crescent


New release time – take a look at this Christmas cracker and find out how to win a free paperback copy.


Christmas Pie Crescent was a Christmas paradise… unless you were Holly Hayward. She hated Christmas. Having grown up in Christmas Pie Crescent, she couldn’t get out of there fast enough but now, as Christmas fast approached with no husband to inject the holiday spirit into their twins, it was up to her to make it a Christmas to remember except she didn’t know what to do. It’s out of her comfort zone and the only solution she could think of was to return to Christmas Pie Crescent… But what about what she saw that night when she was twelve? The night she stopped believing.

Then there’s Ryan Shaw, Christmas Pie Crescent’s newest resident at number five with his two children. Along with losing his wife, he also lost his Christmas spirit… then he meets the neighbours. With elves living at number seven, a sexy Mrs Claus at number four, Santa’s twin at number three and never mind the scary cat lady at number two, Ryan has to question himself, where the hell has he moved them to?

As the Christmas competitions begin, Ryan finds himself swept along in the festivities so why not take part and even win? Holly can’t think of anything worse but can Ryan change her mind and help her get her Christmas spirit back?

A festive funny full of love, laughter and heartache.

Available to download for Kindle and Kindle app and in paperback from Amazon from December 1st 2014.

Amazon.co.uk ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Pie-Crescent-Kerry-Frith-ebook/dp/B00OICB64U

Amazon.com ~ http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Pie-Crescent-Kerry-Frith-ebook/dp/B00OICB64U



Christmas Pie Crescent is your new book – can you tell us about the crescent, are there really elves living there?

Christmas Pie crescent is one of those places where everyone knows everyone. They pop in and out of each other’s houses for a cup of tea and are never too busy to stop for a chat but come Christmas time, it’s an entirely different story. Best friends become enemies because they all want to win that Christmas crown. Unfortunately the only elves living in the crescent are in the shape of gay couple Keith and Lionel at number seven, who like to dress as elves!

Holly Hayward is your leading lady, she’s not exactly a Christmas lover – what can you tell us about her?

Holly doesn’t like Christmas because when she was 12 she witnessed something no child should see. That night she stopped believing and developed a hate for all things Christmassy. Her parents on the other hand, are big on Christmas. The original Mr and Mrs Clause so whilst she’s happy to visit her parents all year, come December she avoids it like the plaque. This Christmas though, is her first without her husband and she finds herself at a loss. Because of the situation she promises her twins the best Christmas ever but it’s out of her comfort zone and the only solution she can think of is to return to Christmas Pie Crescent. The twins are over the moon as it’ll be their first Christmas there but for Holly, it’s her worse nightmare. She has to face the only thing she’d tried her hardest to forget.

What about the new single dad in the neighbourhood, Ryan Shaw, what is he like?

Ryan is just lovely! His back story is sad. He lost his wife the previous November so last Christmas wasn’t very good at all but this year he wants his two kids to enjoy it and the only way he can think of is by moving house and starting again. He finds himself in Christmas Pie Crescent but he has no idea what he’s let himself in for and at first, he thinks where the bloody hell has he moved to. He thinks his neighbours are complete nutters and should be locked up. There’s no way he plans on taking part in all the festive madness but his twin sister and daughter have other ideas. Soon enough, he finds himself in the thick of it and it’s not so bad. He pines desperately after his wife and thinks moving was a mistake because nothing reminds him of her in the new house. His kids are his main priority and his heart belongs to Ellie but when he sees Holly, he finds himself distracted and he feels guilty for it.

What Christmas festivities take place – is this a traditional Christmas or a tacky one?

Do you know what, it’s a bit of both! There’s plenty of Christmas lights and displays that make the Americans look tame. Competitions include battle of the bulbs, deck the halls and the Christmas bake-off. Competition is fierce and some people will do anything to win.

Aside from Holly and Ryan, who is your favourite character in the book?

This one is easy! Issy, Ryan’s twin sister! She’s fun, kind hearted and keeps Ryan in check. I love her so much in fact that I’m 9 chapters in, into her own story! I just wasn’t happy leaving her in the background and wanted to expand her character some more. The new book will also give you an insight into what Holly and Ryan have been up to since. I am aiming to have it published around Easter time.

And what is your favourite scene?

Ooh, let me think… there’s a few to be honest. For Holly, I’d say when she’s queuing to see Santa and is attacked by an elf… and for Ryan, the elf stake out. I laughed at both while writing them!

You’re a prolific author, aside from Christmas Pie Crescent, what your favourite book that you have written?

This is so tough! I have enjoyed writing all of them… but I think I’ll go with April’s Busman Holiday. It’s different from my previous books because whilst it’s still romantically themed, it’s also a whodunit. I just love April, her wit and humour and it was my first attempt at murder mystery. It was hard but so much fun! Book 2 How to catch a jewel thief will be out next year.

How will you be spending your Christmas this year?

At home with my husband and children and plenty of food and drink!

Finally what advice would you give an aspiring author?

Never give up! It’s a long winding road with so many learning curves. I’ve been at it for two years and I’m still learning. Negativity is never good and my first bad review felt like I’d been slapped in the face but then it made me realise without the bad, I wouldn’t know how to improve. It made me learn how to turn a negative into a positive and I think I have flourished and the good reviews make you realise why you do it.


Kerry Frith is a self-published author of The Cocktails & Tattoo series, Handbags at Dawn, April’s Busman Holiday (The Maxwell Mysteries #1) and her new up and coming festive funny, Christmas Pie Crescent. She’s an East London girl with a mad passion for writing. When she isn’t writing, she’s busy being a mum.

If you would like to win a signed paperback copy (UK only) or Kindle edition (everywhere else) join the online launch party today https://www.facebook.com/events/718756248161097/ and take part on the day ~ Sunday 7th December. Signed paperbacks will also be available to purchase directly from the author.


Limelight Likes

How many times do you see author pages and promo posts and just ignore them? And nowLL think how many people must ignore your promo posts. Wouldn’t it be better for every indie if we shared a little and by share I mean promote other indie books, promotions and pages by clicking “share” or “like”? If every indie author liked or shared one post for every like or share they received our pages would really start to take off.

In a year I have managed to receive over 480+ likes on my personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lefitzpatrickbooks

In a few months I have received over a 100 for Limelight’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/limelightliterature

So I have a mission for you and for me – match your likes. Over the next month I am going to like as many pages as I have collective likes on both my FB pages. That means I am going to set out and like nearly 600 indie pages (more if my likes go up). Who is with me?

Follow Limelight on Facebook to track my progress and post your own progress and your own pages for other indies to like. You can also post your pages to be liked in the comments section here too!


December on Limelight

I love Christmas. I love the food, the decorations, endlessly wrapping presents. For some this is a religious festival, for others it’s a time to just celebrate being with the people you love and, for me, this is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and think about those that have supported you along the way and show appreciation to them.

As an indie writer there are so many people from all corners of the world who have helped me produce my books and develop my writing. My beta readers, my proofreaders, my reviewers and all those lovely people who help me promote my work have made this year for me.

These people have made me want to change my approach in the industry and have been an inspiration behind this blog. I wanted to create something that helped other indies, just like people have helped me and I’ve only been operational for a few months, but it has been a great few months.

I am also celebrating a year of The Running Game being published and so what better time to concentrate on tips and ideas that made my book what it is.

All this month I will be posting tips and articles, from myself and other authors, especially for indie writers and readers to help you guys get your work out to the audience you deserve. Please, please, please feel free to comment on all posts, or email your own articles to me for posting (which will be linked to your own sites/books) and of course I will still be showcasing indie talent so if you have a Christmas release or promotion let me know.

Regardless of whether you love Christmas or not Limelight is the perfect place for all indie enthusiasts this month.

And to get in the spirit here is one of my favourite Christmas songs, take it away Frank: