Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Holiday Scavenger Hunt

This Week's Newsletter

This week's newsletter contains the following features:
(Feel free to skip ahead to what you want to read)

What's new with Ashleigh?

In my middle grade newsletter earlier today, I began a conversation on holiday traditions. My family has so many, that I have decided to share a few a day over the course of the month.

One of my favorite Christmas tradtions has always been displaying my creche. Sometimes we place it on a table or mantle, while other years we place it beneath the tree. When I was married, my grandmother gave me a beautiful set imported from Italy. I love it.

However, once we had children, I was too afraid to display it.

The problem was quickly solved, however, when we received a Little People nativity set. It replaced the creche under the tree and the children did a decent job of leaving it alone.

Until #3 came around with her amazing imagination. Each day, she would play with the set, reenacting the entire nativity scene or just letting the animals play together. The pieces were never in the same location two days in a row.

This year, my oldest has started a new tradition. There are 13 people or animals in the set. We removed baby Jesus and placed him in the last box of our advent calendar. (We have a large wooden one we refill each year.) Her original intention was to place an animal or person in the even-numbered boxes. However, when she realized they wouldn't fit, she decided to make it into a scavenger hunt. These pieces are scattered all over the house and she wrote a clue for each location. Every other day, the rest of the kids have to figure out the clue and find the creature. For example, the first clue mentioned the animal liked the cold. One child went to look in the front yard, another the garage. Only the youngest realized the clue was talking about the refrigerator. The cow was hiding behind the milk.

This activity has become so fun, I think it will become an annual tradition.

As for the rest of our family traditions, I will be posting more about them over the course of the month. If you don't receive my daily emails, feel free to follow the conversation on Bluesky, Facebook, or Instagram.

In the meantime,
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Choose Your Own Path Stories

I know I have paused this story once before, but to be honest, I am a little overwhelmed at the moment. As much as I love providing my readers with new content, my family needs to come first. We are very busy preparing for the holidays and I simply have not had time to write. As much as I enjoy working on this project, I will have to put it aside for now. Perhaps it will return in the new year.

Hartfield Chronicles

Hartford Chronicles

Hartfield Chronicles follows the lives of Melinda, Pat, and their friends as they navigate their way through boarding school life.

Each episode features two stories, one from Melinda's point of view and one from Pat's, along with an excerpt from Melinda's writing journal.

New episodes are published every Wednesday.

What are some of Melinda's Holiday traditions?

Free Books

Brookings Forever

Brookings Forever
A sweet beach romance short story

Beach, Sun and Love

I thought I had it all figured out in high school.

I planned to spend the remainder of the summer in peace but unfortunately, May has other ideas – she wants me to get the full high school experience. Whatever that means. Since she’s the only friend I got, I guess I have to go along with her.

There’s nothing worse than being surrounded by high school stereotypes. Or at least, it seemed that way until I met HIM.

Would you like some free books in exchange for an honest review?

All Genre Giveaway - Ends 12/31 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Family-oriented adventures - Ends 12/30 - MG,YA,Romance,
Flashlight Burner MG & YA Books - Ends 12/19 - MG,YA, All About Fantasy! - Ends 1/08 - MG,YA,
Free SFF Books in exchange for honest reviews! - Ends 1/02 - MG,YA,Romance, Fantasy for the Holidays - Ends 1/01 - YA,Romance,
Science Fiction & Fantasy for Christmas - Ends 1/01 - YA,

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

Free Multi-Genre Books - Ends 12/29 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery, Holiday Children's Book Giveaway - Ends 12/31 - MG,YA,
New Adventure, Sci-fi, & Fantasy Short Reads - Ends 1/02 - MG,YA,Romance, Ink and Love - Ends 12/12 - YA,Romance,
Hidden Magic - Ends 12/15 - YA,Romance, Free Sci-Fi & Fantasy - Ends 12/17 - YA,Romance,
Escape the Holiday Chaos - Ends 1/21 - YA, Home Alone (... Finally) - Ends 1/21 - YA,
Magical Escapes - Ends 12/27 - YA, Wintertime All Genre Giveaway - Ends 1/28 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Fantastic Free Fantasy - Ends 1/01 - YA, Winter Tales Giveaway - Ends 12/31 - YA,
SF/F Giveaway December - Ends 12/30 - YA,

Do you have Kindle Unlimited? These books are free for you!

Fire Up a New KU Story - Ends 12/07 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery, A Tale of Light and Darkness - Ends 12/12 - YA,
Sky's the Limit for KU Readers - Ends 12/29 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery, Something to Read - Ends 1/01 - YA,

Other Books on Sale

Curse of the Furies

Curse of the Furies

A fun, urban fantasy adventure with Greek mythology and local midwestern lore, perfect for Percy Jackson fans.

Erin thought being the daughter of a Fury was her biggest family secret. She was wrong.

With her mother gone, Erin is expected to take her place as the third Fury from Greek mythology, but she’s not ready. She’s only half-Fury and she’s not like them. Her power is different, but she’s afraid to tell anyone.

When she gets her first case, it turns her world upside down. Erin discovers her long lost father is cursed with madness. The more she digs, the more her father’s condition doesn’t seem like a random act. As she searches for a cure, long buried family secrets come to light and Erin makes a staggering discovery.

There’s a war brewing. To save her father and reclaim her family, Erin will need to figure out who she can trust and harness her Fury powers. Unfortunately, saving her father might mean losing her family forever.

You may also be interested in these books

Books as Christmas Gifts - Ends 12/20 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Fantasy & Sci-fi Sale - Ends 12/17 - YA,Romance,
Fantasy Filled Holiday - Ends 12/21 - YA, No Matter How Busy You Are - Ends 12/28 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Fantasy Books Make Great Gifts - Ends 12/31 - YA, Spread a Little Christmas Magic - Ends 12/19 - YA,
Award Winning Books for Kids & Teens - Ends 12/10 - MG,YA, Magical Books of December - Ends 12/31 - YA,
Fantastic Fantasy Megasale - Ends 1/01 - YA, Books Make Great Gifts - Ends 12/31 - MG,YA,
It's Book Frenzy - Ends 1/01 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery,

Ashleigh's Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge Progress

This year is coming to an end. Don't forget to update your progress!

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