Tag Archives: book

Falling Into You Cover Reveal!

My friend, L.T.Kelly, has decided to allow me to assist in revealing the cover for her sequel to Falling to Pieces, her smashing debut novel.


Are you ready?


Here it is:






Marc Romano disappeared without a trace into the darkness. His lover became overwhelmed with grief in her loss. But her grief takes on a much more murderous form than most, for Teagan Lewis is a vampire.

Now her heartache is driving her further from the woman she once was, and she realises she must snap out of her monstrous habits and discover the way back to her old self. But how?

Ending their trip around Europe, Teagan and her friend Alex head back to New York. Teagan has the full intention of carrying out a dangerous plan here; not just physically dangerous, but emotionally as well.

How will she be able to resist the irresistible? And what of the new rival, Ivan Lenin? He threatens her life and the lives of everyone she loves. The only people who can help her are her sworn enemy and an ancient stranger. Will they assist her?

How will Teagan Lewis face the demons of her past and try to find happiness? Will she stay and fight or will she run from the things she must face in order to finally be at peace? Mistakes will be made. People will die. The time has come…

Look for it May 2014


Go stalk follow L.T. here:



Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I (C4,S1)

This was supposed to go live yesterday. I forgot to schedule it. I’m sorry, folks.

Previous subchapter here.



Chapter 4

Subchapter 1

A few days later, Angriz and I arrived at the Weirdling’s glen. My guide placed my hand upon a tree. “Wait here, until I’m able to introduce you. She doesn’t like strangers to be brought unannounced. I’ll bring her to you, first.”
“Alright,” I said.
“One more thing: she’s not like anyone you’ve met before.”
“Alright,” I said again.
I waited until Angriz tromped off before I laughed to myself. It seemed heartless to remind him everyone here was unlike anyone I’d ever met. Still, I found myself wondering what he meant. I soon found out. About ten minutes later, Angriz returned with someone who had a much lighter tread.
I noted an unfamiliar odor. I recognized Angriz’s scent. He smelled like hot steel, with a faint tang of pine. This came from his preference for sleeping on pine boughs. This new scent, while not unpleasant, unfamiliar; flowery, but with a faint acrid undercurrent. They stopped a few feet from me.
“Carter, this is Soo-jau. She is the Weirdling I told you of.”
“Angriz,” a soft voice said. “I wish you would stop using that common term. Please identify me the proper way.”
Leather creaked as Angriz bowed. “I’m sorry, Lady Soo-jau.”  He directed his next words to me, “She is Vaush-Tauric.”
“What’s in a name?” I said.
“Well said,” said Soo-jau. “A flower by any other name smells the same.”
‘She misquoted William Shakespeare to me, and has no idea who he is. I find that funny as hell for some reason.’
“Thank you, my lady.” I held my left elbow in my right hand, and tapped my lips with my left index finger. “Speaking of scents, yours is interesting. What is it, pray?”
“Carter!” Angriz sounded shocked I would ask such a question.
Soo-jau chuckled. “You are smelling my relaxation salts.”
“Another scent is beneath. Something acrid,” I said.
“Indeed,” she replied. “Tell me, how does Angriz smell to you?”
“Huh?” Angriz sounded confused.
I ignored him for the moment. “Like hot metal and pine. He likes sleeping on pine needles.”
“Can you guess why hot metal?”
“Maybe because he breathes fire.”
“You are correct. What breath weapon do you think I possess?”
“I would say one of acid.”
“Are you a full dragon, Soo-jau?” I asked.
“I am. Only full dragons can ever be Vaush-Tauric.”
“Angriz tells me you will be able to restore my sight.”
“We’ll get to that, but first, I wish to perform a test. Come here.”
She took me by my hand and led me further into her glen. Water gurgled into a fountain. She released my hand and moved away. I marked her movements by listening to her footsteps through the grass. I turned my head so I would be able to follow her light step easier. The sward sprung up as her feet left the ground. She levitated.
“Why are you flying?” I asked.
“You heard me rise?” she asked, head titled to the side.
“I did.”
She nodded as if my answer was what she was expecting. “This is part of the test. I suspected you might be able to track my movements by sound. Your head movements confirmed my suspicions.”
“Hunh,” I grunted.
“Carter, does magic exist in your world?”
“Not real magic,” I answered. “We possess tricks we call magic, or illusions, but they are really slight-of-hand and misdirection.”
“Were you always blind?”
I told her about what happened. I got chills reliving the experience. As an atheist, to have witnessed the appearance of a real angel was…startling to say the least.
“You seem to take the existence of magic rather well,” she said.
“In my world, I deal with things which to others would seem to be magic more often than not. Something we named nuclear physics deals with splitting atoms. We call this process fission. This generates an enormous amount of heat. My friend and I once experimented with creating the opposite, called cold fission which generates a tremendous amount of cold. I am used to the unusual.”
“What are atoms?” she asked with interest.
“In simple terms, they are the building blocks of everything.”
“What about not simple terms?”
“Well, as I learned, an atom is the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element, consisting of a nucleus containing combinations of neutrons and protons and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus by electrical attraction; the number of protons determines the identity of the element.”
“Hmm. I think I prefer the simpler way of saying it. I can learn a lot from you.”
“And I from you,” I said. “Now, what about the remainder of this test?”
She laughed. “Alright. This part is simple in concept: Catch me.”
“That’s all?” I asked, suspicious.
I sighed and agreed. ‘This is silly.’ I lunged to where I had heard her voice from last, hoping to catch her off guard. This time, the laughter came from my right and a little behind me. I whirled and leaped. I landed hard on my stomach, my hands clutching the empty air. The air left my lungs in a rush as I slammed into the ground. Belly flops on the ground are painful, let me tell you. I groaned and rolled to my feet with care, cussing as I did. Further laughter came from my left, close by, so I swung my arm outward, intending to grasp her at the last moment. Soo-jau laughed again as my hand closed on empty air. Though I sensed no mockery in her constant laughter, only fun and enjoyment of the game, I found myself growing angry. I whirled left, then right, becoming angrier and more disoriented as I flailed about. I ceased talking, my only sounds grunts and gasps. I think she sensed my anger because her laughter also halted.
I found a scaled face with a flailing hand, and clamped down. A grunt and faint “Ow.” To my shame, I realized I had Angriz and caused him some pain. My anger melted away to be replaced with concern.
“I’m sorry,” I said, releasing my grip. “Are you okay?”
He pulled away. “No worries.”
With a clearer mind, I had a flash of inspiration. I stretched my hand out until I touched his leather clad chest. I moved to my right, stretching my arm out. I took two steps further away.
“Angriz,” I whispered. “Do me a favor?”
“Hold your breath for thirty seconds.”
He took a deep breath, and did as I requested. I shouted, startling Soo-jau. A brief gasp of surprise revealed her presence to my left. I waited, counting to three in my head. She moved to my right as I anticipated. I leaped at her without turning my head. I manage to wrap my arms around her waist. Our combined weight overcame her levitation spell, bringing us both crashing to the ground. I released Soo-jau, and rolled to my back so I lay beside her. She lay panting in unison with me for a bit. Angriz resumed his normal pattern of breathing. A moment later, she sat up.
“Congratulations,” she said. “None ever caught me. How did you?”
I smiled, happy with my own cleverness and another chance to teach.
“After I hurt Angriz…-”
“You did not,” he said.
“My shame caused my temper to evaporate,” I continued as if he hadn’t interrupted. “When able to think again, I had a flash of inspiration: my hearing improved tenfold after I’d lost my sight, so I wondered if I might be able to hear you moving through the air. I had him hold his breath, and shouted. I guessed the suddenness of my shout would surprise you. You gasped and I knew where you hovered. I figured that you wouldn’t stay in place after giving your position away, so I listened as hard as I could for you to move. When you did, your mass caused a breeze. The day was otherwise calm so I knew where you ended up. The rest, you know.”
“Ah. Excellent,” she said with some pride in her voice.
I tingled with the sincere praise. I rose to my feet and held out my hand to her. When she accepted, I pulled her up from the grass.
“So, did I pass your test?”
“You did, Carter Blake. All of them.”
“All?” I asked,  surprised.
“Yes. I wished to test your character, you adaptability, and your hearing. I figured you might get angry, though the speed with which you regained your composure surprised me. I admit, though, I did not expect you to catch me. I planned to call an end to the test when you tackled me.”
“So, what happens now?” I asked.
“Now, I begin my preparations. We will learn if I am able to aid you. Return tomorrow.”

Continues here.

Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I (C3,S5)

Previous subchapter here.


Subchapter 5


“Mother was unconscious, cradled in Father’s arms. Her dress was flung up above her waist, torn and caked in drying blood. Rage and grief churned within me, erupting in an anguished howl that I later learned echoed throughout the countryside and brought the villagers at a run.

“The roar startled my father back to reality. ‘Go for the healers!’ he cried. I turned without question and raced back out. I had never sprinted so fast before. Before I even got to the main road into the village, I beheld the Elder running beside Healer Smythwick, followed by the rest of the villagers. For the first time, I ignored our Elder and spoke only to Smythwick. ‘Come fast,’ I shouted. ‘My mother is hurt!’ Without hesitation, I whirled back to the house. I stopped running as I reentered. Father had by this time covered my mother’s nakedness, restoring some semblance of her dignity. I heard footsteps behind me and knew by his scent the Healer had arrived. I was ushered outside with my father while he began examining Mother.

“After what seemed like hours, he emerged from our cottage and reported that my magnificent, beautiful mother had been raped and clawed with viciousness. Bites ran down her neck and arms. My father stiffened and bade me wait. He then went in to her. I began to search the areas near the door for clues. Most would not have used ‘methodical’ to describe me any other time, but I was then. I found a red scale as father came outside once more. I showed it to him and received a curt nod. He looked at the Elder with glowing golden eyes and spoke. ‘Watch over Aurora for me until we return,’ he ordered.

 ‘Of course, Rhynskald.’

“Father beckoned for me to follow him, and set a brisk pace headed east. He set an incredible pace. About three hundred yards into the woods, he began to transform. First, scales spread over his skin in a spiral pattern. His body lengthened; his limbs bulged as his back grew broader. He dropped so his hands touched the ground. His clothing was ripped to shreds and fell to the earth. Father’s fingers and toes sprouted long, sharp claws. His face stretched and broadened, growing a magnificent ridge of horn as his nose and mouth lengthened becoming a maw with huge fangs. The whiskers on his face also grew longer. Tremendous wings burst from his backbone as his neck stretched until it was as long as his body. A tail swept out behind him, thick and sinuous. This wonderful transformation happened in a matter of seconds. I was astonished to behold him as a splendid gold dragon.

“I stared, mouth agape. Father swiveled his huge head around and peered down at me. One melon-size eye blinked closed. He gestured for me to come to him. ‘Come, we have a red dragon to hunt.’

“I stepped forward, filled with trepidation. A colossal paw, tipped with massive claws, grasped me. With a swift few steps, my father launched himself into the air.”

When Angriz paused, I took a moment to divert him from the anguish he must have relived, “Why did your father call you Swenlyn?”

“That was my name at the time,” he answered. “We dragons go through different naming processes than others do. We are given one name after hatching, or birth. We receive another at puberty, and one more upon reaching adulthood. Some are named for their deeds, and some by their enemies. Mine was the latter.”


I cocked a surprised eyebrow at him. “Why would you carry a name given by an enemy?”

“Because it turned out to be my True Name.”

I thought for a second: I’d heard of the significance of them before. I just couldn’t remember where. Mental forehead slap: BattleHammer.

“I may be wrong,” I began, “But if someone knows your True Name, they have power over you, right?”

“Yes, but only if secret. However, in the open, as mine is, then any True Name spells would backfire against the caster.” His smile was clear in his voice.

“Ah, right. Sorry for my interruption. Please continue.”


“My father flew through the night. His massive paw shielded me from the cold air. As we traveled, I asked about our family. ‘Father, does you being a dragon mean that I am one as well?’

“‘No, Swenlyn, you are half-dragon. Your mother is human,’ he said.

“This provided my next question, ‘Why do I look like the other children?’

“‘Half-dragons resemble the offspring of their non-draconic parent until adolescence,’ he answered. ‘That is when your body begins to change. Nothing looks different at first. Then, your scales begin to develop with what appears like a full-body rash which itches like hell.’

“‘I won’t be able to continue playing with the others, will I?’ I asked.

“He sighed,  ‘As long as they allow it. I’m afraid they will be much like other children I have seen in my travels, and ostracize you. Odds are you will be very lonely, son. However, as you grow, your strength, agility and intelligence will, too. They grow at a much faster rate than anyone’s except a pure dragon.’ With that he fell silent.

“At last, close to dawn, we came to the Saffron Mountains. We landed on a broad ledge near the summit of Mount Killimin, the highest peak in the range. He released me from his grip and transformed back to the man I knew. Several feet away, a black cave led into the mountain. Father held my eyes for a moment, seeming to find something. He nodded, more to himself than to me.

“‘Wait here,’ he commanded as he strode into the cave. Hours passed as the sun rose higher into the sky. Too long, he had been gone. The silence, the not-knowing was toying with my imagination and I was considering following him. He would not have tolerated my disobeying him. And yet, if he were in need of me…how could I just stay?

Much to my relief and horror, the silence was destroyed by a terrific roaring. Inside the mountain, a titanic battle was being waged. Pebbles bounced and tumbled down from above the cavern entrance. Dust thickened the air as the ground shook.

“I dove to one side as a searing wall of flame shot from the opening. My right shoulder took a beating from a sharp rock half buried in the rubble. I rubbed the bruised and singed muscle as I rose. Moments later, Father strode out. He was tired, dirty, sweaty and covered in blood. I wondered how much of was his and what amount belonged to the red dragon still inside. His battle-weary eyes locked on mine. For a moment I thought I discerned more than just the father, the warrior I knew him to be: all strength, integrity and discipline. Something else stood looking at me which I did not recognize. He seemed as if he were a king. No, a king of kings. His appearance was at once majestic, yet menacing.

“He beckoned for me and forgetting all else, I ran to congratulate him. He was safe! He’d won. But before I could celebrate, he spoke, wary and tired, ‘It’s not yet over.’ I slid to a stop a foot or two from him. In his hand was an enormous silver greatsword with an intricate filigreed pommel. He offered the hilt to me. Not yet understanding his purpose, I grasped the sword and followed.

“We returned to the cave and walked for a long distance. This was not a single grotto, but a series of immense caverns. The last hollow we entered was breath-taking. The ceiling soared far above our heads. Tiny eyes measured our progress. At any other time, this would have been beautiful; flowstones, rising stalagmites, beautiful curves, nooks, a small stream that was no doubt a tributary to some deep underground lake.

As my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I espied the red dragon lying not far from us. He was huge, but not  as big as Father in his draconic form. He laid in a pool of his own green lifeblood. Gore also sprayed over the nearest rocks. Chunks of flesh and scales littered the floor. The red’s breathing was quick, shallow and ragged. Father and I drew closer. I detected the crimson dragon’s lava-like eye roll to watch us. He tried to get to his feet, but was unable. His tongue rolled out of his mouth and dragged on the cavern floor. Dust clung to it.

‘His fate lies in your hands, my son. If you do not choose to finish him, there is a good chance he will survive.’ With that, my father turned, and headed outside. I lowered the sword point to the ground at my left side, and I gazed at the red for some time.

‘What is your name?’ I asked.

‘S-Skor-Skoroth,’ he panted.

‘Did you rape and torture my mother?’

He nodded in affirmation.


‘For pleasure,’ he gasped. ‘And because I was paid a sizable sum to torment your family.’

Furious, I shouted, ‘Who? Who funded you?’

Skoroth wheezed out laughter. I did not flinch as a fine spray of blood flew from his mouth, coating my face and chest. “I’ll never tell you, Whelp.”

‘What’ll you do if I allow you to live?’ I demanded through clenched teeth.

Something he descried in my eyes made him answer thus, ‘I will hunt your kinfolk and kill them, my dear… Angriz.’

‘Fair enough.’

He struggled to raise his head and stare at me with surprise and curiosity written on his face. The angle was perfect. I swung the greatsword up and around, decapitating him. I slashed so hard, I spun around several times before I fell over, dropping the sword as I did. The cavern continued to spin and tilt, as I raised my eyes to focus on Skoroth. His head lay under the stump of his neck. A river of blood coated the floor and me. Unable to stop myself, I brought my hand and placed blood-covered fingers into my mouth one at a time until I licked them clean. Spent and weary, I rose to my feet and left Skoroth’s lair.

Father was watching a flock of geese overhead when I exited the cave. I stood beside him, trying to find  way to tell him what I had done. Not about killing Skoroth, but tasting and licking his blood from my fingers. Before I opened my mouth, my father said, ‘You did the right thing, my son. I am proud of you.’

His voice seemed to unlock the words I’d been searching for. ‘Father, I have tasted his lifeblood. Something inside me, something irresistible caused me to do it.’

‘You need not worry about that, Swenlyn,’ he reassured me.

‘I am Angriz.’

He turned to look at me with an eyebrow raised. He searched my face, and then nodded in understanding. ‘Ah. The red?’


He said nothing else. In silence, we stared without seeing. Our eyes focused somewhere other than the surrounding mountains. I imagine that deep within himself my father wrestled with the injuries of Mother, and possibly the wisdom of me embracing the name of Angriz. I was numb. I don’t remember thinking of much at all. My outer surroundings and inner thoughts blurred, leaving me unable to focus on anything.

A little before sunset in the warmth of dusk, Father transformed once again into a gigantic golden dragon. I straddled his back and we flew home. I never did press him for an explanation about tasting Skoroth’s blood, thinking we’d discuss it soon enough. But weeks passed into years and my father died before I thought to ask him again.”

Angriz fell silent, his tale finished.

“Why did Skoroth call you Angriz?” I asked. I struggled to hide my consternation that the one who raped his mother, the one who had torn his family asunder, the one Angriz had killed had been the one to reveal his True Name.

He shifted and replied in measured tones, “My appellation means both ‘Avenger’, and ‘Holder of My Fate’, in Draconic.”


“In the language of dragons, words can have different meanings depending on the way they are used.”

“Oh.” Then, it occurred to me. “Why didn’t you suffer from the Bloodtaste when you tasted Skoroth’s blood?”

“I do not know. Many times I have wondered that. Even more so today.”


Continues here.

Moonflower On Sale Starting Today


After Josephine Woods’ father dies of cancer, her mother up-roots the two of them and moves to the city. Josie hates her city life, but her teenage issues are of little consequence when they have a car accident and she wakes up in a strange land (reminiscent of Victorian Europe) alone. Lost, with her school backpack as the only connection to her world, Josie struggles to find her way home. She is found by Lucius Conrí, the son of a Marquess, who possesses royal blood and the gift to shift into a wolf’s form at will. Can the kind-hearted Lucius help her find her way while winning her love, or will she fall for Donovan Conrí his older, more serious brother and heir to the Conrí wealth?

 It runs from January 30th through February 5th on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk as a Kindle Count Down Deal.  It starts January 30th at 12 a.m. for $0.99 (which is an 81% discount off the original price) changes to $1.99 at 12 a.m. on February 3rd and ends at 11 p.m. on Feb. 5th.

EDC Johnson grew up in the Midwest, graduating from Michigan State University with her BFA in Art Education and her MA in Art Education from Western Michigan University. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Palm Harbor, Florida. Her decade of experience as a public school art teacher has inspired her to write fiction novels that will entice young readers. You may see some of her illustrations in Renee Mallet’s: Fairies, Mermaids, and Other Mystical Creatures.

You may find more information about EDC and her book at…







Find the link to Amazon UK here:

I Have A Confession To Make

Disclaimer: The authors I mention below are not among those I’m referring to in the post. All have helped me immensely, and are willing to do the same for other author-wannabes (like me). Two even have a website, and books dedicated to that. Another has a book too.  


Not too long ago, I read a couple of lines that made me realize: We writers are a rather arrogant bunch. I did some searching online to double-check, and I discovered, yep, we are. Here’s what I mean: I have read over 1,000 books, blog posts and articles over the last year that says not everyone can write a novel. I’m not going to cite any of them because a few were written by folks I’d like to consider my friends. Almost everyone said that only a select few can write novels, or they’d quote some statistic that says 80% of people think they can write a book, and then say that was bullshit. What we do is so hard. Um, no it isn’t.

Technically speaking, nothing is hard to do unless you don’t put in the time, and energy in learning how to do it. For me, building a space shuttle, a nuclear reactor, calculating pi, or even making bouillabaisse. I don’t know how to do those things. However, I can go learn how to, if I had the drive to. It’s the same thing with writing. Anyone can put words together to form sentences, then paragraphs, and then a manuscript. It’s not that hard.

What separates we writers from Joe, or Jane, Average is our drive to put words to paper, or screen. We have a compunction, or a predilection for doing so.  Hell, you can even say it is our obsession (some of them anyway. I’m pretty damned lazy for the most part). Something within us makes us get to a desk, or table, pull out our notebooks, pads, typewriters, or computers, and start stringing words together to form a story. Sometimes it is great, sometimes it sucks. Great thing is, what is awesome, and what is sucky, are subjective. For example, millions rave over The Twilight Saga, and 50 Shades of Grey. I can’t stand either.

“You’re not the target audience, asshole.”

Fair enough. I also can’t stand Terry Pratchett novels. Or some R.A.Salvatore ones. And you know what? Not one of those four I just mentioned even notice that I haven’t bought their stuff. They have millions of fans.

If you have any interest in some authors I do like, I can rattle off a couple of names (maybe you could go check ’em out, see if you agree with me): R.S.Guthrie, L.T.Kelly, Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi (Anglea & Becca are a writing team. They have separate links because I want to show both pages, and not have both names go to the same place. I’m weird like that. :P), Kevin Rau, Jen Boyce, Fabiola Surya. Jen & Fab don’t have links because their novels are not yet published, and they don’t yet have websites, though Fab does have a blog. Wondering how I can say Jen & Fab are some of my favorite writers? Simple: I get to assist these wonderful ladies in crafting their stories. I’m kinda blessed that way.

Why did I title this blog “I Have A Confession To Make”? I was one of those arrogant writers I mentioned. I am no longer. Now, if someone says to me, “I want to be a writer,” or “I can write a novel,” my response will be, “Go for it. I’ll be cheering you on. If there’s any way I can assist, let me know. I’ll be glad to.”

Wanna check out some of the above author’s works? Here’s a series of links to their stuff on Amazon:

Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi –  The Emotion Thesaurus, The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus

R.S.Guthrie – Black Beast, Ink, Blood Land (This one is Free)

Kevin Rau – H.E.R.O: Metamorphosis, H.E.R.O: New Markets, Necromancer’s Ascent

L.T.Kelly – Falling to Pieces (her debut novel. The second is in the works).

Why not show some love to these wonderful authors? Tell them R.w.Foster sent you.

HELP THE ELF: I Found Santa’s Missing Nice List!

Hi everyone! As you may remember, a few weeks ago PETE the Elf had a touch too much Eggnog at the Holiday Christmas Party and as he stumbled home, he lost Santa's NICE LIST.

The North Wind scattered the papers to all four corners of the world, and The Bookshelf Muse put out a call to help find them in order to SAVE CHRISTMAS.

Ever since I read about it, I've been on the lookout. And then today, EUREKA!

Yes that's right...I found part of Santa's missing NICE LIST. There it was, fluttering in the wind, half caught under the corner of my welcome mat. And shock of all shocks, I recognized the name, and I bet you will too.

Here it is below:


NAME: Jennifer Boyce & Fabiola Surya

LOCATION: North America

NICE LEVEL: Jen, 95%; Fab, 94%

NAUGHTY LEVEL: Jen, 5%; Fab 6%

OBSERVATIONS: Jen and Fab are great friends, awesome beta readers, are generous with their time and all around fantastic women. They could, however do with more pineapple! The amounts they eat is terrible.

RECOMMENDATION:     a) Coal                   b) Gift

~ ~ * ~ ~

Because poor Pete is dashing all over the place trying to hunt down the rest of Santa's missing Nice List, I decided to take care of this one myself. Ladies, I feel so blessed to know you! Though it isn't much, I hope you enjoy the gift I sent to your inbox and have a wonderful Christmas!

How about you, Readers? Is there someone you'd like to say Happy Holidays to, or tell them how much they mean to you? JOIN US! There's plenty of days left until Christmas, and sometimes a kind word can lift people up in a way that they really need. It's as easy as sending a free ecard or email note, posting on a Facebook wall or sending out a tweet. So go ahead and spread some kindness and cheer!

Photo credit:

assorted gold baubles (christmasstockimages.com) / CC BY 3.0