12 Days of Christmas Reads – The First Day: ‘Desert Duet’ by Debra E. Marvin

First Day

Welcome to the first of my 12 Days of Christmas Reads posts! I have some fantastic authors and books to share with you over the next twelve days, and each post comes with a giveaway, so there are plenty of opportunities to grab yourself a Christmas read. Kicking it all off is author Debra E. Marvin and her novella Desert Duet.

Some links in this post are affiliate links. See here for full disclosure.

~ Christmas with Debra E. Marvin ~


Photo by Lis Parsons as featured in Nigella’s Ultimate Christmas Pudding recipe

Favourite Christmas food – I’m going with what is likely unusual for some readers but maybe not for Katie!  Plum Pudding.  (You’re right. Plum or Christmas pudding is a staple here at Christmas time!) First, my version has no plums and doesn’t look like pudding unless you grew up with close links to ‘the old country’.  I’ve actually done a blog post on how I make it http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/2013/12/forgot-plums-in-my-plum-pudding.html.  Now, I’m the only one left of the auld folk who eat it so I rarely make it anymore. It’s a piece of my childhood for sure!

What’s one of your family’s Christmas traditions? Since my first child was born—so we’re going back 40ish years  {Screams}—I’ve given each one a Christmas ornament each year. That makes quite a collection by the time they move out and have their own tree.  And now it means adding an ornament each year to my {screams again} seven grandchildren!  My desire each year is to make the ornaments but writing deadlines seem to have nixed that idea that last few years!

Strangest/most boring/worst present you’ve ever received – When I was ten or eleven, I carried on and begged to be allowed to open a present on Christmas eve. My mom gave in.  I opened a small box and it was deodorant.  From Avon (my aunt sold Avon).  Okay, so yes, I was ‘becoming a woman’, but believe me that was the most disappointing present I could have picked!  There were plenty of things under the tree the next day, but the embarrassment has lingered! Ahem. Thanks for asking!

Lol! You’re welcome 🙂

Most memorable/best present you’ve ever received. I would have to say it was my manual typewriter. A nice little plastic Smith Corona in an awful dull golden-beige color and a nice official-looking hard case. Thankfully, I received a Teach Yourself  to Type book too, which I set about doing. I can type in the dark at a decent rate. Is “Touch Typing” is a thing of the past? (aka keyboarding 🙂 )

Sure is! Very handy skill to have. 

If I was sitting on Santa’s knee right now, I’d ask him for . . . permission to get up. I’d be so embarrassed.

Haha! *whispers* I’ve never been one for sitting on his lap either!

Christmas isn’t Christmas without . . . Watching White Christmas, listening to my Carpenters’ Christmas Album, Christmas Eve candlelight service, and nowadays, watching my grandchildren opening gifts and asking for seconds on ham.

Oh! Seconds. And thirds . . .

Send a brief Christmas message to all your readers:  My Christmas story, Desert Duet, is a bit unusual as there’s no New England feel or Christmas snow. But it’s all about that little bit of magic that happens when we take the time to look for the joy that comes with sharing. Which is why it can be an especially difficult time of the year for those who are alone.  Invite people, call them, try. Even if they say no, it’s nice to be asked.  Lonely people don’t announce it—not on Christmas or any other time of the year.  I wish you all Joy and the thankfulness in your heart that the holiday is so much more than the hoopla!

I’m pleased to promote Desert Duet as a freebie from Dec 2-6th (grab it now!) and I’ll be giving away O CHRISTMAS TOWN, a digital boxed set of sweet historical romances set in towns with Christmas-inspired names!

~ About the Author ~

Debra MarvinDebra E. Marvin is a member of ACFW, Sisters in Crime, a Grace Awards Judge, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She’s one of the founders of Inkwell Inspirations Blog, and is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, Journey Fiction and contracted with Barbour Publishing. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University in upstate NY, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.

Connect with Debra:   Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest  //  Amazon

~ About the Book ~

Merry Christmas from Humbug. Wish You Were Here!

It’s 1933 in the good old US of A. In the midst of drought, the Depression, and gangsters on the lam, America finds solace in Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Ex-pilot Eugene Tanner, determined to pen the lyrics for the movie industry’s first “Best Song” award, books a rushed December stay at the remote Humbug Creek Guest Ranch (A Gold Mine of a Getaway!) Where better to find inspiration for an epic Western, than amid all that trail dust and burnt coffee?

Thea Knight gives up her short holiday break from the studio’s costume department to play cowgirl hostess at her family’s struggling guest ranch. But instead of helping their witty and handsome guest, she becomes his biggest distraction. Old flames and past regrets take a backseat when the pair becomes embroiled in a ghost town mystery marring Humbug, Arizona’s rustic Christmas. Thankfully, the cowgirl is as fast with her Winchester as she is with her comebacks.

We’re kicking off the 12 Days of Christmas Reads with a very special offer. For the next three days (4th, 5th, & 6th December) you can get Desert Duet free from Amazon.

Grab your free copy of Desert Duet (4, 5, & 6 December only)

But wait! There’s more!

Debra Marvin GIveawayYou can also enter for the chance to win one of TWO copies of the O Christmas Town collection, which features Desert Duet along with four other novellas:

A Christmas Stamp by Cynthia Hickey
Letters From Santa by Becca Whitham
An Angel for Mistletoe by Teresa Ives Lilly
Searching for Joy by Linda Baten Johnson

Comment on this post (even if it’s just to say ‘Thanks for the giveaway’!) and then click here to enter.

* This giveaway is run through Rafflecopter. See full Terms and Conditions here.

Thanks to Debra for joining me today and for providing the giveaway copies. Don’t forget to join me again tomorrow, when my special guest will be Melissa Tagg!

PS – for a comprehensive list of Christmas-themed releases for 2017, check out my aptly-named page Christmas Releases for 2017.


About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Spotlight, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to 12 Days of Christmas Reads – The First Day: ‘Desert Duet’ by Debra E. Marvin

  1. debraemarvin says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of this great celebration, Katie!. Looks like it will be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to visiting each day. I’m guessing that getting a typewriter for Christmas is really ‘proving my age’, but maybe some of your readers and authors had the same great gift.
    Happy Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for joining in the fun! I can still remember using Mum’s electric typewriter sometimes as a kid. It was pretty special to be allowed to have a turn! I guess that’s showing MY age now, too! 😊


  2. Deb Forbes says:

    Enjoyed the post. Never had plum pudding and I laughed when I read that your best present was a typewriter, I get it since they were the thing to have when we were young but it means nothing to youngsters now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • debraemarvin says:

      Yes, a typewriter is a relic these days. We have a big electric one in the office at work and occasionally, the office gals actually use it. I REALLY enjoy hearing the sound of it!

      Thanks Deb!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. My sister-in-law has a typewriter and my kids love it when they get a chance to use it. But it’s more of a curiosity in these days of computers and iPads and so on.


  3. sbmcmh says:

    Thank you for the post! Now it’s gotten me thinking about the most boring gift I’ve received….though nowadays I receive practical gifts like air fryer and bread maker….which is so awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • debraemarvin says:

      I know. It was a great question. And the answer to ‘worst gift ever’ is probably one we’ve put out of our minds!
      Thanks for commenting!


    • I’m pretty sure our idea of ‘boring’ or worst present changes as we get older! Mind you, my nine year old had ‘two pairs of knickers’ at the top of his present list this year, so maybe some of us reach that point sooner than others! 😂 Not sure what that says about me, though, that he feels like he has to ask for them for Christmas!


  4. Courtney @ The Green Mockingbird Blog says:

    I like your tradition of gifting an ornament, Debra! When I was growing up, I got a new one each year, too. My mom has the collection somewhere! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A typewriter was one of my first ‘big’ purchases I ever did–I saved up money I earned until I was able to buy one! I was so proud of it, a brother electronic, you know it had that tiny little screen you could actually watch the letters on, before you typed them out! 🙂 I still have that typewriter, down in my storage room somewhere… 🙂
    thanks for doing this giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • debraemarvin says:

      When I took typing in high school (it was the 70s), they had electric typewriters and I kept making mistakes because I was use to pounding away at the manual typewriter! Oh, and they were SO HUGE. ha!
      thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I was a legal secretary, I worked with a woman who had learned to type on a manual typewriter in the days when they used carbon copies and so had to make sure the type went through. You should have heard the way she pounded her computer keyboard. I’m surprised she didn’t break it!

        Liked by 1 person

    • My mum had an electric typewriter when we were growing up, and now that you mention it, it may have been a brother too. I can still remember the hum when it was turned on, and the smell. I loved it when I was allowed to have a turn! Bets of luck in the giveaway! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Robin says:

    Hi! Thanks for the chance to enter. I enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions. But, it does make me sad that there aren’t any plums in the plum pudding!! Excited for the 12 Days of Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • debraemarvin says:

      Yes, that’s a bit strange but maybe there were plums in it at some point. I use golden and regular raisins, plus that strange candied fruit. Oh- and I like fruitcake too. Just because I grew up with it. Ours was heavy but never dry!

      Merry Christmas!


    • Thank you! I’m sure there were plums at one time, but there’s still plenty of other fruit in it. Enjoy the rest of the posts, and good luck! 🙂


  7. Paula says:

    I used to give my kids ornaments each Christmas, too! Now it’s the grands and I, too try to craft them.


  8. Becky Dempsey says:

    The kids usually get or make an ornament each year here, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Hake says:



  10. Becky says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!


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  12. debraemarvin says:

    Our big tradition now is that all the grands get matching pjs at Thanksgiving so they have them for family get togethers each winter. So cute!

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. conniepsaunders says:

    I always enjoy reading Debra’s posts. Thanks for this giveaway!


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  18. Faith Creech says:

    Thanks for the post and a chance at the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. agboss777 says:

    Thanks, Debra, for the fun interview! I always enjoy getting to know more about an author. Thank you also for the reminder to reach out to those who are alone. Your words are so aptly true.
    ~ Merry Christmas! ~

    Liked by 1 person

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