Welcome Guest – Jolene Navarro!!!

Hola! Jolene Navarro checking in from my front porch in the Texas Hill Country. I’m so happy to be here today.

My family has been in Texas for seven generations, so when it comes to telling stories, I can’t help but draw from my own experiences. My family loves getting together for the holidays, and you can see this in all my stories.

Lone Star Christmas is my third Christmas story and the third book for my Bergmann sisters of Clear Water, Texas. The sisters have been so much fun to get to know. Family is everything to them, even when they drive each other crazy.

I have two sisters and a load of aunts. Even though we lost our mother eleven years ago we still get together with her family, including our grandmother (her mother).

A few years ago, my sisters and I along with a cousin or two, thought it would be easier and much more fun to rent a cabin in our family hometown of Leakey. What a perfect place to give thanks by the river and among the hills that we came from. It was one of the best decisions we had made. As a family we love the outdoors, the trees, river, sky the more we can explore the happier we are. And of course, we have the dishes that have been served even before I was born. One of my favorites is the cranberry sauce served in my great-grandmother’s bowl.

Now to be fair there are family fights…sauce from fresh cranberries or the stuff from the can?  Some people will only eat that stuff from the can, but I’m not here to judge. We welcome everyone…no matter how they take their cranberries.

So, hosting Thanksgiving in a cabin on the river became a new tradition. A few of us stay for three or four days to set up, clean up and just hang out. The rest of the family comes in for Thursday. How can I not incorporate this kind of family fun (and maybe a little drama) into my books? In Lone Star Hero, the big family gathering is new to my hero Max and his three younger brothers. They have never spent the holidays together let alone in such a huge setting. 

Click cover to order.

Thanksgiving is just a kickoff of the holidays. My all-time favorite time, Christmas. Therefore, I love writing Christmas stories. It can be a time of such joy and hope. On the other side a person could be swamped in darkness, grief, loss, or loneliness. I work with this theme a great deal just like Max and his brothers. The idea that as the author, I can right wrongs, give people new chances and hand out happy endings to the most broken.

Every Christmas Eve we drive over the hills, through the Frio River and down a long bumpy dirt road to my cousin’s ranch on the Frio River.

Surrounded by God’s creations has a way of healing the bumps and bruises the world leaves behind. How could I not bring this into my stories and share with the world? I love being a country girl.

Like I said, I love writing holidays and I use what I know, but there are so many traditions. I want to hear about some of yours.

Finish this sentence for me: I get that holiday feeling when……

If you leave a comment, you will be entered to win a gift bundle of all three Bergmann sister’s books: Texas Daddy, The Texan’s Twins, and Lone Star Christmas.

Guest Blogger

38 Comments

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  1. First, welcome! Second, I love your family, fellow Texans, big get-togethers and y’all throw in guitars too! I want adopted.

    I have a huge family and we used to have family reunions the second Saturday every June the day before a community homecoming where my father and his seven siblings grew up. Since my aunts and uncles that live in the area are now too old to host the reunion and not many of my cousins still live around the area or do not have appropriate homes to host the reunion at we haven’t had the reunion for three years. Insert sad teary face here. Third, I’ve never read one of your books and I’d love the opportunity to. A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list. If P&P is recommending you I’m sure I’d love your books. Of yeah, the question, lol…
    I get that Holiday feeling when authors start promoting their Christmas books.
    I get that holiday feeling when November hits and I have to start figuring out how I’m going to afford Christmas gifts this year. I’m on disability income, I have MS.
    I get that holiday feeling when the East Texas temps and humidity levels are finally getting bearable.

    Loved your blog as you can see, it got me fired up! Have a wonderful holiday season and don’t forget to consider the adoption. My daughters are 22 and 15. My oldest has an autoimmune disease too. Insert another sad face here.

    1. Thank you, Stephanie. My husband has a few brother in East Texas and I have a nephew. Beautiful part of the state. So glad you go fired up!! LOL. In our family the more the merrier. One reason we started renting the cabin was due to the fact we needed a place in the area to meet. It has worked out nicely. There have been years we didn’t have the funds for extras, but being together and making thoughtful gifts go a long way with people you love. Praying for you and you family. May it be a joyful season

  2. I get that holiday feeling when there is crispness in the air, Christmas movies begin on tv, and I pull out the decorations.
    I have lived in Texas my whole life and though I love visiting all over our wonderful USA, there is no place like home!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful post.

    1. Thank you, Melanie. I think the crisp air is the reason I love fall so much. I agree, that’s when I start getting excited about the holidays!

  3. I get that holiday feeling when I decorate my house.
    Thanks for the great post and the recipe.

    1. You’re welcome. This year we will be decorating a weekend earlier than usual due to schedules. So do you eat cranberry sauce? Fresh or can?

  4. I get that holiday feeling when I start reading Christmas books, see decorations in the stores and hearing the Christmas music. I enjoy gift buying, but it is stressful trying to find the perfect gift on a limited budget. If I ever see snow, it really puts me in the Christmas spirit. Being a Texas too, I know how rare snow is in my area and cherish it when we do get some.

    1. Hello, Janine. I love Christmas stories and love it when they start hitting the shelf. I have managed to work snow into to of my own stories. LOL – As Texans we kind of go nuts when we see snow.

  5. I get that holiday feeling around Thanksgiving. My birthday is always around thanksgiving(some years on Thanksgiving). My kids always get together for Am Big meal and a birthday celebration—-76 this year.

    1. Hello, Estella. Happy early birthday! Having family around is the best.

  6. Hi Jolene, it was fun visiting with you and your family. I get the holiday feeling when I start hearing Christmas music on my radio and in the stores but when I go to our church Christmas program in early December I KNOW, Christmas is really on the way! I never grow tired of seeing the children act out the Nativity scene or in hearing the story of Jesus’s birth read from the Holy Bible!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Connie. My first Christmas story centered a live Nativity scene with children and music. Lots of music.

  7. I get that holiday feeling when……

    We put up the Christmas tree and Christmas decorations while listening to Christmas music the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    I also start baking holiday Christmas spritz cookies at that time.

    1. Hello, Laurie. We usually do our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving too, but due to scheduling this year we will have to do it before! I’ve never done that, but it will make life easier. Cookie making is a great tradition.

  8. Hi, Jolene, I know you from your posts in Seekerville, nice to see you in a different venue.
    I get “that holiday feeling” the first time I hear a carol sung in church. That does it for me. I’m not at all musical myself, but singing of Christ’s birth with His people moves me. I also feel the touch when I’m setting up the Christmas tree and Nativity, but those are still “things,” although things that represent something awesome.
    I love hearing about your family traditions!
    Kathy Bailey

    1. Hi, Kathy. Seekerville is another great group of ladies. There are so many good feels around Christmas and the music is one of them. It helps me keep focus on the reason we celebrate. Blessings!

  9. I get that holiday feeling when…… I smell pumpkin pie baking in the oven! 🙂

    1. Hello Colleen. I don’t eat pumpkin pie, but I always cook on to get the aroma in the house. Great smells! Thank you for stopping by.

  10. Welcome back, Jolene! We’re thrilled to have you. I loved your post. Family get-togethers are something I always look forward to and equate with holidays. We’re so scattered that it’s very difficult to make it happen. And I LOVE Christmas books! I’ve got to get this one. I get that holiday feeling when the leaves start falling off the trees. 🙂

    Big hugs and thanks for coming!

    1. Hi, Linda. Thank you for the warm welcome. We hike through the hill country and love love love the change in the trees. It might not be as dramatic as the east coast, but I love it all the same.

  11. I get the holiday feeling when the Christmas tree is up.

  12. Welcome! You are a new author to me. Your books sound delightful! I get that holiday feeling when I realize it’s time to start planning the holidays and who we will be lucky enough to visit with during that time. Decorating and cooking and the music and movies are all part of it but the anticipation of seeing family we don’t often see, like the little great-grands, is what makes it special.

  13. Oh I love it! I get that holiday feeling when all our family eats food and plays games together. It always feels like Christmas when we goof off and have fun all together. I miss that!

  14. Thanks for stopping by, Susan. Goofing off leads to laughter and laughter is the best!

  15. I get that Holiday feeling when I get out the Thanksgiving decorations right after Halloween. Our big family get together was at our house on Thanksgiving day. Now that we all have families of our own and are scattered across the country we have started new traditions and my “next generation” tradition includes some of the old…no playing Christmas music until Thanksgiving day. My mother was strict about that. Dinner is at one of our daughters’ homes with Christmas movies playing while we get the dinner ready and after dinner planning for the next day shopping. After Thanksgiving it is time for Christmas.

    1. Hi, Alice. Thanks for stopping by. Yes now that my kids are older (20, 22, 25, 27) it gets harder. So like everything else as we grow and shift we modify. Keeping some of the old and making new is part of family life. Your mother would love that you still follow her rule. 🙂

  16. Hello Jolene! Your porch is the perfect place for reading and enjoying the view! Our hill country is beautiful!

    1. Hi, Caryl. LOL I love a good porch. That is one of the must haves when we rent a cabin. I do a great deal of writing there too. Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Hi, Jolene! I saw your Facebook post and wanted to stop by. I get that holiday feeling just as soon as November, time-change and cooler weather roll around. Your recipe sounds great, but I also like the canned stuff. I love your pictures, and your traditions. I’m a seventh-generation Texan, too 🙂 Congratulations on your new book!

    1. Thanks for coming over! I live for the cooler weather! Half of my family will only eat the canned stuff. LOL

  18. Welcome. My holiday feeling kicks in when the lights go up.

    1. I love Christmas lights. My hometown covers the tree at the plaza in lights and we love going to the San Antonio River Walk during the holiday because all the giant cypress are covered. The lights are so pretty reflecting off the water. Thanks for stopping by, Jerri.

  19. I love to make fresh cranberry sauce. That stuff in the can should stay in the can is far as I’m concerned. Being a baker, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. After supper, we all gather around my sister’s piano and sing hymns. We make beautiful music together.

    1. Hi, Julie. 🙂 Yay! Go fresh cranberry sauce. LOL. Live music and singing along is the best family memories. Thank you for stopping by.

  20. I start getting the holiday feeling when I start cooking pumpkins. On the years I don’t do that, it is when I start getting ready for Thanksgiving. I like to make my own cranberry sauce, too.

    1. Your kitchen must smell amazing!

  21. the day after Thanksgiving

    1. That is perfect timing. LOL 🙂

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