Today I am so pleased to welcome the fabulous Kenzie Cade to Joyfully Jay (also knowns as our own amazing Crissy Morris!). Kenzie has come to talk to us about her latest release, Hummingbird House. She has also brought along an excerpt to share and a copy to give away.  Please join me in giving Kenzie a big welcome!


I don’t know about how you guys celebrate the holidays, but for me and my family, Christmas has always been a big festive extended family event—as in my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids on my mom’s side. I’ll be honest; I love my family with all my heart, but I can only handle the in small doses. And it all stems from these Christmas get-togethers. They’re less extravagant now, with Gran in the nursing home, but back then, when I was a kid, it was a huge deal. We’d meet up one of my aunts’ houses on Christmas Eve and make a big two to three day event of it. Kids running around. Adults yelling and drinking and cooking. Back when it used to snow regularly for Christmas in Arkansas, we’d play in the snow. It was a big, loud holiday. I have a big, loud family full of many different personalities.

Nowadays we’re more sedate and the get-togethers are smaller and happen on a weekend a few weeks before Christmas so that those of us with other families are able to spend the holidays with both of our families without feeling stressed.

In all this time, we’ve had a few traditions.

  • We open one present on Christmas Eve and it’s always—always—pajamas.
  • We make homemade candies.
  •  We watch The Princess Bride.

I know you’re probably wondering what in the world the last one is about, yeah? It all started when I was five. My uncle wanted to watch a movie that wasn’t a Christmas movie, because even back then all that was on television was Christmas movies. So we went to the movie store—the big boxy VHS type of place—and after much debate and negotiation, decided on Princess Bride.

Westley and Buttercup, the Dread Pirate Roberts, Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, Humperdink, and all those in between took me on a journey into a world of fantasy, adventure, and true love. It was Christmas romanticized for me. And from then on, The Princess Bride became a tradition. Every Christmas I sit down to watch it and I’ll be thirty-five come this Christmas. It’s the one tradition I hold dearest.

So, tell me about your not-so-common holiday traditions. Or if you’re a movie lover like me, tell me about your favorite Christmas movie.


Callum sat there stunned as he watched Trent stomp to the bar, pausing briefly to speak with the man behind the counter, then handing over what Callum assumed was payment for a room and taking a key handed to him. Without a backward glance, Trent turned and made his way upstairs.

Only then did Callum notice the rest of the tavern. Everyone—everyone—stared at him. Worry, accusation, and confusion coloring their faces. He rubbed his hand over his forehead and tried to ignore the people around him.

Everyone in town knew Astrid Appleton, so everyone knew Trent, even if he didn’t know them. And they loved Astrid and in turn Trent, who had been the apple of her eye. The town was in mourning and obviously protective of the boy they’d watched grow up every summer and the occasional winter.

“Well,” his mother’s sarcasm cut painfully into his thoughts, “that went well.”

“Not now, mum.”

“If not now, then when?”

“Just….” He turned to her, pleading. “I don’t know what to do.”

“You fix it.” She nodded, matter-of-factly.

“That easy, mum?”

Her laugh was loud and apparently the signal the rest of the pub needed to carry on, as the hum of conversation once again flowed around them. “Who said it would be easy, love? You hurt that boy once upon a time. Now you have a chance to make it right if not better. Don’t fuck it up.” Then she turned and weaved her way around the tables and pushed through the door to the kitchen.


hummingbird houseTo honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason.

Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was.

Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.


Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes to fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel

The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.

Contact Kenzie at You can also find her online at her blog:; on Facebook at; and on Twitter at


Kenzie has brought an ebook copy of Hummingbird House to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, December 5th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post
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