Monday, December 16, 2013

#TNTConfidential 12 Days of Christmas - GIVEAWAY- Day 4- Julie Lynn Hayes & A Special Christmas

Welcome to Day 4 of #TNTConfidential 12 Days of Christmas! Santa's helper for today is Julie Lynn Hayes!

     What is your favorite thing about the Holidays?
I think my favorite thing about the holidays is making dreams come true, whether through gifts or food or simply time spent together. I have the best kids in the world, and I love to buy for them, although the last few years have been lean ones and I haven’t been able to do as much as I wanted to. But they all understand, and they support and love me. What more can you ask for? I only have one left at home, and the other three are scattered to the winds – Hawaii, Seattle, and Indiana. Gathering isn’t an option, but they’re always in my thoughts. I love to cook, and hope to someday be able to cook for them all, under one roof. But regardless of geographical locale, they’re all in my hearts, and having them is the best part of the Holidays for me.

     What inspired you to write your book?

I love history, and Prohibition is a fascinating time period, especially the gangsters that saw a niche and filled it—with illegal hooch! Capone has been a longtime favorite of mine. He liked to wear expensive suits. At the time, I was doing some bookkeeping for a drycleaner, and the story just started to come together, along with two young immigrants celebrating their first Christmas together, in a speakeasy in Romeoville, Illinois. Florian’s love of opera comes from me, I admit. I wanted to write something that was holiday-oriented, but also sweet and romantic as well. Nothing overly dramatic, just love and sweetness.

     Share a Holiday anecdote with the readers 

I remember one Christmas when the children were much younger, not sure exactly how long ago. But I thought I’d be smart and start shopping for Christmas early, like in June, in order to spread out the spending. How clever I thought I was! Unfortunately, what I didn’t calculate on was not keeping track of what I actually bought until Christmas morning when the children found themselves standing in a virtual toy store. I had simply gotten carried away and each one had a stack of presents as tall as him/her! I learned after that to watch what I did more closely. Although, I am still prone to spoiling them lol

I love to cook over the holidays, because it’s the perfect excuse to make a huge meal. At one time, I used to bake all kinds of cookies, but time constraints have limited that in recent years. However, I’m all for making a turkey dinner with all the trimmings at any time of the year, not just Christmas and Thanksgiving. Food is comfort and love and that’s all a part of the holiday package. Taking time to make things special, like making buckeyes (chocolate peanut butter balls) because my kids love them. Or an extra special baked macaroni & cheese (the ultimate comfort food). I make really good turkeys because I make my own rub, plus I make an injector solution, which leads to moister meat. My daughter Katie gave me a suggestion at Thanksgiving that I utilized. Put water around your turkey, and put the neck and giblets into the water. They impart flavor to the broth that goes to the turkey, and only adds to the overall taste. Don’t be afraid to try something new—nothing ventured, nothing gained! And nothing says love quite like a home-cooked meal!

A Special Christmas

Florian Donati has an almost childlike innocence in the body of a god. Unaware of his charms, he enjoys his life, working in his family’s drycleaning business in Prohibition-era Chicago. He loves his job, loves singing Italian opera, and loves the people in his life, including his friend Loria and the notorious gangster Alphonse Capone. Still, he dreams of having adventures and finding love.

Nick Giannakopoulos is a young Greek immigrant who’s come to America to live with his uncle’s family, working with his cousin in the family pharmacy. There are many things he’d love to do, including going to a party in a speakeasy that he and his cousin Milo have been invited to. But it’s on Christmas Eve, so family obligations preclude their going. Until Fate intervenes and Nick and Florian end up at the same speakeasy in Romeoville and find themselves sitting at the same table.

Is instant attraction a basis for a long term relationship? Or is this just a passing Christmas fancy?

Available at: 

Torquere || Amazon || ARe

About Julie

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. 

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.  

You can find her on her blog at, and you can contact her at

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Tomorrow... JC Wallace!


  1. Fun post. Love the Christmas morning story with all the gifts. Book sounds great.

  2. I learned new stuff about Julie! :) And I always make 'Peanut butter balls' too cause if I don't my husband, and his family, might crucify me. That and homemade rolls are my contribution to every holiday meal.

    The holiday event continues to shine! Thanks Elyzabeth!

  3. Oh, I'm so excited for prohibition-era men :D I love history just as much,a nd this is an often-neglected era. LOVELY!

  4. Julie, - I see nothing wrong with stacks of gifts taller than the children. I plan to do the same for 'lil q for as long as I can :P

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  5. Sounds as if you have some wonderful holiday memories, Julie! I'd love to see your recipe for the Peanut Butter Balls,if you're willing to share! And your book looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Yeah...please share. You've got our mouths watering here.

  7. A Special Christmas sounds really interesting. We love to cook at Christmas time (and every other holiday). Now that I have kids, I really enjoy sharing our childhood traditions with them and creating new ones of our own.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Here's the recipe for buckeyes. Enjoy!

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone, and thanks for all the lovely comments!! Happy Holidays!



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