So This Is Christmas!

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Hi, my name is Ramona Brimstone. I’m one of the fictional women characters in Jerry Byrum’s romance novel, PERFECT MATCH. And he has asked me to share my thoughts of Christmas with you. I’m the first of his fictional characters to speak publicly.

If you’ve read PERFECT MATCH, you’ll recall I’m a 34 year-old ex-prostitute, turned preacher woman. I know it’s weird, but that’s who I used to be, before becoming who I am now. I used to pimp my body for the devil, but now I preach for my Creator from the pulpit of the fictional Faith United Mission Church, a growing congregation in the heart of the North Carolina mountains.

I had traveled down a rough path of alcohol, drugs, and sex with other women’s husbands before I discovered the true meaning of Christmas. One night in a small town in northwest Tennessee, after hitting the trendy bars, I ended up in a darkened parking lot and fell asleep in my car.Christmas Ornaments Tree 12202014

I awoke the next morning, when two men and two women were smiling as they tapped on my windshield. I was in pretty bad shape, disoriented. They coaxed me out of the car, and I stumbled into this tiny country church with their assistance. They were the kindest people, as they handed me two donuts and hot coffee. The women took me to the restroom and cleaned up my face with a warm washcloth. They put a couple Band-Aids on my head and arm where I’d gotten hit and scratched up during my wild partying the night before.

They didn’t pressure me, but they asked me if I would sit with them in the church service. Told me I’d enjoy the sermon, and they’d take me to lunch afterwards. Needless to say they’d caught me at a weak moment with a hangover, and they’d won me over with their kindness. I stayed, but kept having an urge to bolt back to my car. I’d never been to church, but I’d pegged it as some kind of creepy, spooky institution that I needed to avoid.

The preacher was a kindly gentleman with an honest smile, and unruly white hair. He preached on LOVING SINNERS. I remember chuckling to myself thinking that I was fully qualified to listen. He shared different occurrences from scripture of how Jesus loved all kinds of people, just as they were. I thought that idea was strange, because the men I’d been with wanted me to be something they wanted. I was a toy, a plaything for their pleasure, and I certainly had not experienced love from any of them.Christmas Bible Candle Tree 12202014

The soft-spoken, country preacher described the compassion Jesus had for an adulterous woman he had met one day. As I sat there on the creaky wooden church pew listening, the idea that there was a Jesus who could love a woman like me was the most romantic, inviting thought I’d ever had. My pulse quickened at the thought of a man who would never leave me.

When the preacher gave the invitation for any who wanted to commit their life to Jesus Christ, I ambled down to that church altar, along with three other people. My head was still throbbing and my heart was breaking. I felt I was shattering into a million pieces, but I knew a good stiff drink later would take care of that, except the thought of booze sent a wave of nausea through my stomach, and I dropped that idea immediately. Instead, as I knelt at that altar, my single thought was how terribly “sorry” I felt for the mess I’d made of my life.

The only things I’d ever prayed for in life were all green traffic lights, and legislation that happy hour would be a 24/7 law of the land. So while kneeling at that worn wooden railing I was speechless, but somehow I moaned and groaned inside and finally, silently, squeaked out, “Please, Lord…please…help me…” Since that day I’ve concluded that God is a language expert, when it comes to interpreting the moans and groans of all Creation.

I wish I could tell you that on the morning I came face to face with forgiveness, there were bells and whistles sounding and lots of crazy fireworks and other spooky drama taking place, but I can’t. I simply felt very alone with only the presence of my Creator. Just the two of us , and for the first time I felt very small, but important that my Creator would spend time with me, flawed and frail as I was.Single Christmas Ornament

So from that day forward I took small steps learning about this Jesus person and his teachings. All through divinity school, with new knowledge and all, I tried to analyze, dissect, and explain my encounter with forgiveness. I finally gave up and decided to simply experience it and share it with others.

Because you see, Christmas is a gift that has forgiveness written all over it, and it’s wrapped with the romance of God. Yes! It’s true. God romanced a small insignificant young woman, Mary, filling her with Divine Love that produced a Son, Jesus. As a woman, some of the most exciting scriptures in my Holy Bible are the ones relating to Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” There is no greater intimacy than when God romanced Mary, and then prepared the life of the Son, Jesus, to be (for)given to all of mankind, further showing the far reaches of Divine Love.

Wouldn’t you just love to see the readout after scientists analyzed the DNA of Jesus? I would, and I’ll bet you my bra—uh…just kidding, that’s my old self trying to talk—but I will bet you a cup of coffee that all media headlines would announce the same message: “Yes, Virginia, Christmas really was a miracle birth.”

But it took the world 32 years before it first realized the significance of that Christmas birth, and “heaven and nature” have been singing it’s joy ever since.Christmas Tree in Snow 12202014

So this is Christmas: When I, a tarnished ex-prostitute, Ramona Brimstone and all the other characters in the novels of Jerry Byrum wish you Merry Christmas, it means we wish you the very best of what we believe here at Wildfire Romance Publishing. We want you to experience peace and joy in your life. It doesn’t matter what your faith, belief, or unbelief happens to be, the greeting still stands.

Because you see, Christmas is for everyone. It is the greatest giveaway and takeaway of the season. It trumps all commercial gadgets and trends. What happened in that manger 2,000 years ago didn’t stay in the manger. Yes, the news was out, spreading around the world, even all the way to Vegas. Christmas is a Creative gift that will not be hauled away with the crumpled holiday wrappings and trash next week. Christmas is everlasting. It will always be there…for you…waiting…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

7 Tricks, Treats, Temptations Blog Party

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Come on in; you’re at the right place!

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Thanks to Candi Silk for inviting me to participate in the 7 Tricks, Treats, and Temptations Blog Party.

Halloween is such a naughty holiday. A few of my author friends and I thought it would be a devilish thing to surprise readers with 7 Tricks, Treats, and Temptations about our writing. You’ll get a mixture of fun, tantalizing, scary stuff about characters, plots, suspense, twists and turns, hoping to freak you out a bit.

Enjoy my treat bag of 7 fun things, then party over to my list of fun and entertaining authors at the bottom. Don’t be surprised if they scare the covers off your books, before they treat you. Boo!!

7 Tricks, Treats, Temptations – Jerry Byrum

1. Dakota Blackstone has a past he’d like to forget, and move on. But GG won’t let that happen, since she has a past she’s desperate to conceal. Between secluded secrets, and small town conspiracies, Dakota is faced with repeating his past, again behind prison bars. This time for murder. Is he innocent or guilty? Only when the thaw of HOT SNOW begins, will you know the answers.

2. It was a graduation to remember. It was a HOT DEAL that made Vegas look like a kiddie game. It was a scandal the media fed on like sharks in a frenzy for blood. It took Blaze Brimstone, an insecure preacher woman with tempting desires of the flesh, a junkyard dealer named Jasper Woodfield, and a bright teenage woman, Ashley Stetson, from the wrong side of the tracks to sort through the cards. With stakes high and chips on the table, rogue attorney, Griz Winters flushed everyone’s hand, revealing the winners and losers. Are you in the game?

3. Anyone knows anything perfect is going to be costly, and PERFECT MATCH is no exception. D. R. Fallington, and Madison Winston are polar opposites. He’s rich, arrogant, flamboyant playboy, and reckless as hell. She’s financially challenged, smart, sensible, and with a streak of independence sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. Nothing matches, until pending challenges of life and death set them on a collision course neither could have ever imagined. Two imperfect souls at a standoff, while a third, Selena Rodriquez, watches quietly from the shadows. PERFECT MATCH is a perfect read for all seasons, but you’ll have to decide if anything matches.

4. Natalie Wilson, successful self-made quilt shop owner is the picture of womanly success in the small, quaint town of Eagle Mountain, until recently retired 42 year-old Adam Washington walks into her shop. That was the first day of the rest of her DILEMMA. Caught between her secretive husband, Buford, also the town’s Chief of Police, along with her repressed childhood, and Adam Washington, her dilemma escalates and erupts, spilling over into the once peacefulness of picturesque Eagle Mountain. Can her resilience sustain her independence? Can another man penetrate her shield of doubts? Will the Chief of Police allow outsiders to take over his town? And will he tolerate another man taking his woman? There’s a DILEMMA loose in town. What will it take to settle it?

5. Autumn and winter are the perfect times of the year for reading, you know, that wonderful process that takes you to other worlds while you rest comfortably in your favorite reading spot, with a delicious seasonal beverage nearby, and maybe even a decadent dessert. Makes for a perfect evening of getting to know characters from the imaginary land of novels.

6. Have you made the switch to an e-reader yet? You know, a Kindle, Nook, or other electronic reading device? I read almost exclusively on my e-readers, although I purchase an occasional paper book. But I do love the convenience of digital reading. I can adjust the font style and size, even let my Kindle read to me. I used to spend about $800 per year on 75-80 paper books. Now I spend a little over a hundred dollars and have access to more than 750,000 digital books through Amazon’s KindleUnlimited membership program. My e-reader has saved me money, while giving me access and convenience to a greater selection of books 24/7. Now that’s a real treat. Hope you’ll consider experiencing digital reading.jack 1

7. Don’t be afraid to discover new authors. Sure you can stick with letting the NYTimes, USAToday, and the WSJournal tell you what to read by giving you their popular lists of bestselling books. I followed their lists for many years, but discovered I can make better selections of what to read next. I started reading the sample pages of different self-published authors offered on popular book sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. I’m listing a few of those authors below. I found them to be entertaining and most of their books are priced below $3.99 with discount promotions cycling at different times. That sure beats the heck out of a forty-dollar hardback. Discover new authors; save some money, while you enjoy reading!

Jerry’s Amazon Author Page

Continue your howling hop over to the following creative writers. They’ll show you more bewitching stuff, including blog posts, interviews, but be warned they all have reputations for reads that will “trick, treat, and tempt” you. Enjoy!
Michael W. Smart – mystery, suspense, thrillers
Maggie James – psychological thriller
Robyn Roze – romantic suspense
Elle Klass – women’s fiction, paranormal
Candi Silk – erotica escapades

It’s The Hottest Deal!

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Hot Deal cvr 05082014Blaze Brimstone, 28-year-old, newly assigned preacher to a shrinking country church, is tempted by rough-cut member Jasper Woodfield, who sits on the back pew. His presence reminds her she is very much a woman with desires of the flesh. But she carries old baggage from a failed marriage, and at the same time she’s tortured by career self-doubt.

A growing Hot Deal rattles the town’s deepest emotions at a high school graduation. Rogue attorney, Griz Winters, and his side-kick private investigator peel back the layers of the scandalous Hot Deal, swirling with a quartet of teenagers.

But as the scandal is laid bare, the lives of the winners and losers are also stripped naked. Not until the unspeakable scandal is uncovered, does the entire county become involved in a live or die war of hot emotions. Everything Blaze and one of her teenage members want is at risk, when they confront the county with hardcore choices that bring national attention. Not until the final tally will the winners and losers be sorted out.

(Notice: Hot Deal is a stand-alone novel, but it’s connected to the novel, Hot Snow. You’ll remember a few familiar characters from Hot Snow, but you’ll meet brand new characters and new twists in Hot Deal. It’s the next big deal!) Hot Deal is available at your favorite online booksellers. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, and others.