Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

Day 3 of the Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration with Tracy Ruckman & Jordan T. Maxwell

After you leave a comment on this post, don’t forget to go back and sign up to win the two previous days’ worth of books on this blog at and by leaving a comment! Remember, you can enter as often as you wish during this special Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration. Anyone can enter (please, U.S. residents only)  and subscribers who have confirmed their subscriptions receive two entries!

Today, leave us a comment about your absolute favorite Christmas tradition, whether it’s a new tradition or a tradition through the generations.

We have two items up for grabs today…a Christian suspense novel by Tracy Ruckman, Debbie Roome, and Amy  Barkman.

Tracy and her fellow authors are giving away one print and one digital version of Board to Death: A Trio of Mysteries in the Dangerous Games Series by Amy Barkman, Debbie Roome, and Tracy Ruckman. To enter the drawing, just leave a comment below, sharing your favorite Christmas memory. (If it happens to involve a board game, you get an extra entry! LOL!) Be sure to tell us if you want a print or digital copy and an email address where you can be reached if you win. We’ll have a separate drawing for each version, so you may enter once for each, but you can only win once.

Also up for grabs is a copy of the 10 CD audio book version (721 minutes!) of Dandyflowers by Jordan T. Maxwell.

And now two Christmas memories…

My Favorite Christmas Memory  by Tracy Ruckman

Each year it seems to get more difficult to recall a favorite Christmas memory, because there are more to add to the list. I’ve shared one precious holiday in my story “Miracle of the Nativity” published in 2009 (Christmas Miracles). Last year, I shared about my childhood Christmases when Nanny made us hot chocolate by stove light. This year, a more recent memory has pushed its way to the top of my memory bank.

In 2007, our beautiful holiday celebrations began with a delightful and huge family gathering with Tim’s sister and all his cousins. So many people, but so much love and so much laughter. It was one of those Hallmark-movie kinds of days. The past several years had been extremely difficult on both of us – deaths, wayward children, job woes, and for me, divorce – and our families had been scattered on holidays during all of it, so that gathering was especially sweet for us. Then we got some wonderful news – all the kids were coming to spend the day with us! All of us were together for the first time in years, so I cooked and cleaned like a madwoman. I can’t tell you what we ate or drank that year (although I do remember the pumpkin soup was NOT a hit!), and our gifts were small and personal. To some, that Christmas may not be one to write a school report on, but in my heart, those few hours will always be a special treasure – because we were together.

Tracy and her fellow authors are giving away one print and one digital version of Board to Death: A Trio of Mysteries in the Dangerous Games Series by Amy Barkman, Debbie Roome, and Tracy Ruckman. To enter the drawing, just leave a comment below, sharing your favorite Christmas memory. (If it happens to involve a board game, you get an extra entry! LOL!) Be sure to tell us if you want a print or digital copy and an email address where you can be reached if you win. We’ll have a separate drawing for each version, so you may enter once for each, but you can only win once.

About Board to Death:

Baby Boomers Polly Nichols, Lindsay Wilson, and Gretchen Anderson may live worlds apart, but they have one common hobby – a penchant for board games.

Polly’s serene Kentucky campground turns sinister when the manager is a VICTIM of murder. In New Zealand, Lindsay’s life is turned upside down when MIND GAMES and evidence drag her into a murder case – as a suspect. At the Kettle’s On Campground in Georgia, Gretchen matches wits with a murderous wordsmith intent on winning the latest game of SENTENCED.

You’ll love the games, the characters, and the stories – and we promise, you won’t be BOARD to Death!

Visit us on the Web at:

My Favorite Christmas Memory by Jordan T. Maxwell

When you are five, Christmas is magical; a white Christmas is even more so. After getting up at the break of dawn on Christmas morning nineteen sixty-nine my brother and I were excited to find the gifts the jolly old elf had left us. After all the presents were opened, we were told to get our coats, hats, gloves and boots on. Dad said that he had seen something in the snow outside that we needed to see.

At the farm where I grew up we seldom used the front door; the main traffic way to and from our house was via the back door and the back yard. So when Dad walked us around to the front yard we knew something unusual must have happened. We were not disappointed.

The front yard was covered in nearly pristine, six inch deep snow. I say nearly because in the center of the yard were a set of straight, parallel lines running several feet through the snow; sleigh tracks! Interspersed all around the sleigh tacks were hundreds of tiny animal foot prints which, upon closer inspection looked conspicuously like deer tracks or more correctly reindeer tracks!

It got better. Leading across the yard and up our front porch steps were the distinct impressions of tiny boot prints! Not only was there a set of boot tracks going to the house, but there was a second set leading from the house back to where the sleigh had rested! My brother and I had conclusive, irrefutable proof that Santa had indeed been to our house on Christmas Eve and forty-two years later, I still believe!

Want to get in touch with Jordan? His website is:

He can be found on Facebook by searching for “Jordan T. Maxwell”.

Twitter: @jordantmaxwell

More info from Jordan: I will have an archieved copy of the hour long interview I will be doing on The Authors First Radio Show on November 22, 2011 regarding “Dandyflowers”. To get to the archieve go to:

I will be on the same show on December 20,2011 at 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central, 5pm Mountain & 4pm Pacific. Go to: and click on the flashing “On Air” icon. I will be talking about my second book, “Dandyflowers – Laura’s Diaries”.


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

26 thoughts on “Day 3 of the Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration with Tracy Ruckman & Jordan T. Maxwell

  1. While I worked nights, years ago, I would opt to work Christmas Eve night, so I could enjoy Christmas Day with my husband and children. While I did so, my husband started a family tradition. While I would be working away, a little group of “Elves” would visit my car and either decorate it or leave a little gift inside. One Christmas morning, I walked out to discover bright pink window wipers! Another, the cassette tape with “Tilly” by Frank Peretti. The kids thought it was so much fun to “sneak” out with their daddy to leave surprises for me. I couldn’t wait to get home on those mornings and give my family extra hugs. I cherish those memories.

    1. Janet, this is such a wonderful story. What a blessing that must have been for you to see those “surprises” from your family. I loved your story! Thank you so much for sharing it! It reminded me of how my girls love to leave little notes on my nightstand and they even put the date on them because they know that mom saves each and every one of their lovely notes and artwork!

  2. One of the things we love to do is start a fire in the fire place when we get up and burn it all day long. As we go about our activities often we will hang around in the den and just enjoy the fire and the warmth. I stay in there most of the day reading and/or watching movies while the kids are off playing with new “toys”.

    1. Terri, your comment makes me want to come over to your house! I loved the image of a warm and cozy day inside by the fireplace. What a wonderful memory this will be for your kids!

    1. That is such a wonderful tradition, Linda. We sing before we eat the cake as well. In recent years, we’ve had to go gluten-free for Jesus’ cake, but it’s still such a delightful tradition!

  3. Two years ago, my youngest little guy, was 7. The day before Christmas Eve two giant deer showed up in our backyard. Now those deer had been in and out of our yard the whole year because they both had babies in our garden, but we hadn’t seen them for a couple of months. All of a sudden, there they were! We joked that they were Dancer and Blitzen trying to get out of pulling the sleigh. My hubby has a very good older friend with just the right kind of voice, so he programed his phone and as we were cooking, he gets this call… from SANTA! (It had to be. It said so right on the phone!) Hubby looks at son and says, all serious-like, “I think you’d better take this call.” Son’s eyes were priceless when he saw who was calling. 😉

    Santa asked if we had seen his reindeer because they were missing, and my son said yes, they were in our backyard. Santa said, that was okay, he would pick them up on his way through. He asked if my son had been a good boy and said he would leave him something special for taking such good care of his reindeer.

    The next morning when we got up… presents everywhere… the reindeer were gone, and we’ve not seen either one of them since.

    True story, and one my son will NEVER forget!

    1. Staci, I LOVED this story!!! There could probably be nothing more exciting for a seven-year-old than a call from Santa about his missing reindeer – that are in the seven-year-old’s own backyard! You really have to write this as a blog post, Staci!

  4. My husband and I started the year after he and got married that we would have our family Christmas on Christmas eve. due to his family and mine doing things on Christmas. So this way we could participate in other family get togethers. So with that being said, after 30 years this year, we still do our family Christmas on Christmas eve. But we have grown since our first Christmas together, He had a son before, then soon found out we had another one.. then two years later a daughter, then two more years another son. Now, we have added.. two daughters (n laws).. lost a son n law due to div.. 😦 between our four kids we have 8 wonderful grandkids and another one the way next year…. yeah.. and they make sure that Christmas Eve is Our time…… no matter…. We eat, Read the Story of Christ Birth Day… play games, open gifts, and play more games. They are all here usually around 3 or 4 and stay until midnight…. say Merry Christmas.. and go home……. Can’t wait to do it this year!!!!

  5. I would love to win Board to Death. It sounds like a fun read.

    One of my favorite traditions since I’ve been married is to have at least one special ornament for each year. After 23 years of marriage, our tree is now covered with memories: births, vacations, milestones, pictures, and much more. Can’t wait to add this year’s ornaments to commemorate our visit to Washington D.C. and our younger son getting his drivers license.

  6. My absolute favorite Christmas tradition? But there’s so many! Hmm… I think my favorite family tradition is we would always do a group call to whatever family members weren’t there – my dad would put the phone on speaker and when my aunt/uncle/grandparents/etc. answered, we would all yell “Merry Christmas!” together. Now that I’m the one far away, I look forward every year to that call – it makes me feel not quite so far away!

  7. Maxwell hits it on the head: the true innocence of Christmas is brought out in this memory of his “belief”. For those of us who embraced and choose to allow our children to embrace the secular Christmas beliefs of Santa, let me say this memory story has a special point. The loving concern of an adult to nurture the best that is Christmas. Believing when you cannot “see”, and giving the “visuals” to reenforce the belief. I love when adults care enought to take care of the innocence of young children who need wonder and joy in their lives. They are faced with the harsh realities soon enough, and then we nuture and lead them to the ultimate belief of Christmas: Christ.

  8. Since I’ve had kids my favorite Christmas tradition is running down stairs to grab the camera before the kids come down to capture their astonished faces at seeing the presents santa left for them!

  9. i enjoyed reading everyone’s christmas traditions…my ‘tradition’ is simple…i always enjoy going to christmas eve mass… i think it personifies the true meaning of christmas. Merry Christmas, everyone 🙂

  10. Since we have traveled out of state for the holidays, our family tradition is to attend a Christmas Eve service. Each service has always ended with a candlelight service and a Christmas carol. What a blessed time we have enjoyed with fellow Christ followers we don’t know!

  11. My fave Christmas tradition is we all gather around Ron while he reads the Luke Christmas story….one I hope we never tire of hearing, how our Savior came as a baby, left heaven for ME….for us! Merry Christmas! teelayoung at hotmail dot com

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