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Sunday, December 18, 2016

I'll be Home for Chanukah by Nancy Goldberg Levine @KMNbooks @rebeccajvickery #holidaystories #romance

Let's give Nancy Goldberg Levine a warm welcome!

KAREN: Why don't you tell the readers a little bit about yourself.NANCY: I worked for a weekly newspaper for fifteen years and a legal publisher for five years, and now work in public service.  I've sold more than sixty short stories and sold my first romance novel, "Tempting Jonah," in 1999. I have six self-published stories as well as four under my pseudonym, Vi LaNance. Under Goldberg Levine the stories are sweet contemporary romantic comedies, and the ones published under Vi LaNance are R-rated romantic comedies.

KAREN: Tell us your latest news. Do you have any current projects you're working on?

NANCY: I'm working on a historical set in the fictional town of Dannville, Colorado, (same setting as "I'll Be Home for Chanukah," called (working title) "Honeysuckle for Honey." It's set in 1896, and is about the man who owns the saloon and the new doctor who comes to town. It started as a dream about me and friends of mine living in this town in 1896.  
KAREN:  What is the name of your story and what inspired you to write this tale for the Let it Snow, 2016 Holiday Romance Collection?

NANCY: "I'll Be Home for Chanukah" is about a rabbi who's in the town of Dannville temporarily and who thinks he has the perfect family and a paramedic who is on a leave of absence but loves her town. She lives with her ninety-something Grandma Bernie and the rabbi is her best friend's brother. Her family back in Ohio is definitely not perfect. I liked writing about the fictional town of Dannville and these characters just showed up and started telling their story.

KAREN: When you were a child, what holiday story intrigued you the most?

NANCY: The story of Chanukah--how Judah and the Maccabees only had enough oil to last for one day, but the oil lasted for eight days--it was a miracle. I still believe in miracles, even though that sometimes gets me into trouble. I always believe, in the back of my mind, that anything is possible.
KAREN:  What do you think makes a good holiday story?NANCY: Stories about family and friends, not necessarily people with a lot of money, but ordinary people who persevere through difficult times.

KAREN: What is your favorite holiday movie or book?
NANCY: I read a book years ago, a romance set in Cincinnati (where I live) at Chanukah. It was called "Season of Light" by Lorna Michaels. I loved that book, and the setting. 

KAREN: What is your favorite holiday drink or food dish? 

NANCY: Peppermint hot chocolate, peppermint ice cream, potato pancakes, and jelly donuts. 

KAREN: What makes you interested in the genre you write? 

NANCY: I love romantic comedy--I hope I have a good sense of humor--and I like to write about ordinary people, although when I first started writing, I wrote about princesses and people with lots of money.

About I'll be Home for Chanukah - Dannville Dreamers, Book One
Paramedic Eve Preston is taking some boss-mandated time off from her job. Her parents don't understand her at all—they wanted her to be a doctor, and a wife and mother. She's perfectly happy in Dannville, Colorado being housemates with her Grandma Bernie and her cat, Simba. Then Rabbi Byron Sachs, her best friend's brother, takes a temporary job at Eve's temple and that changes everything.
Rabbi Byron Sachs is a city boy who thinks his family is perfect. When he meets his sister's best friend, Eve, he starts to re-think life in the big city. As he spends more time in Dannville, he learns that his family isn't perfect, and that life in a small town might not be so bad after all.
Can a great miracle in Dannville bring Eve and Byron together? 

Purchase your copy today 
Ebook:  Amazon /Amazon UK / Smashwords / iTunes /Nook
In Print:
Amazon /Amazon UK /Createspace / Barnes and Noble

~Enjoy a Snippet from I'll be Home for Chanukah~

The sanctuary at Temple Beth David is decorated in royal blue and gold. There are all kinds of Chanukah decorations – most made by the religious school kids. Paper dreidels and menorahs hang from fishing wire and blue and white paper chains. A menorah with five candles sits on the podium in front. I used to just come to temple for the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, but I find myself showing up at Beth David more and more. I like the members of the congregation and it feels like home. My best friend, Sirena Sachs, is a member, and so is my grandma Bernie. I moved to Dannville because of Grandma Bernie. I spent summers here as a kid, and stayed with my grandma, and I moved here for good about ten years ago after becoming an EMT.

Sirena approaches us carrying two pies, one Dutch apple and one pumpkin. She hugs my grandma, who's tall and slender. Grandma's hair is cut in a neat gray bob and her blue eyes twinkle.

I look at the spinach dip and potato chips grandma Bernie, short for Bernice, is holding. She's not one of those grandmas who whips up cookies in her kitchen or watches cooking shows on TV, but I'm closer to her than I am to my parents.

I tease her as we all walk into the kitchen. "Thanks for bringing the pies. What's everyone else going to eat for dessert?"

Sirena laughs, puts the pies on the kitchen island, and takes off her coat, hat and gloves. "Traffic is crazy out there. I almost got here late and I don't want to miss services…" Her voice trails off as we go back into the sanctuary. We sit on comfortable banquettes covered with teal blue cloth. She's still looking around.

"How come you're so hyper?"

"Oh, I…"
Sirena twirls a lock of honey-blonde hair around her finger, something she always does when she's nervous. She's my exact opposite in coloring—my hair is dark brown, but I have lilac-blue eyes. Her eyes are brown and her shoulder-length hair is blonde. She's still doing the hair twist thing when I hear the sound of a low male voice.
"Hi, Sis!"
I glance in the direction of the deep voice and into brown eyes that remind me of a hot cup of coffee. A handsome man with hair the same color as Sirena's is standing there, smiling down at us. He's dressed in a navy blue sports jacket, a white collared shirt and a Chanukah tie with dreidels on it. He's wearing a yarmulke. I've seen pictures of Sirena's brother, but I've never actually met him. The pictures don't do him justice. He's tall and muscular, but not too muscular. I could develop a serious crush on him if I let myself.
Sirena makes the introductions. "Byron's taking over for a few weeks as Beth David's rabbi because Rabbi Goldsmith is in the hospital."
Uh oh. I shouldn't think about Byron's muscles, or eyes the color of coffee or anything else. Not only is he a man of the cloth, he's Sirena's brother, and he's only here temporarily. I try to sound as bright as the flame on the menorah candles. "It's nice to meet you. How do you like Dannville so far?"
Oh, that smile is my undoing. "I haven't seen much of it except Sirena's diner and well, here. Plus the Galloway Inn. That's where I'm staying."
Sirena runs Sachs's Dannville Diner and her food is legendary. "Well, you won't starve and you couldn't pick a better place to stay." Boring. If he has insomnia I'm sure my conversation will cure it.
"Nice meeting you," Byron says. "I've got to…" He looks toward the bima and walks to the front of the sanctuary.
Nice butt.
Grandma agrees with my assessment, and Sirena glares at us. Oh, no. I'd voiced my opinion of Byron, the rabbi's, butt out loud. I can feel heat rising on my face. "I'm sorry, Sirena."
"Nu, Evie?" Grandma says. "Why apologize? It's the truth."
He's my best friend's brother. He's a rabbi. He's only here temporarily. I repeat those words in my head like the prayers from the service.
"I just found out he was taking the job yesterday," Sirena whispers. "He didn't know if he could get the time off."
I remember her telling me that he's the chaplain at a hospital in Boston, where he lives. "I understand."
After the service, we move to the room next to the sanctuary, where all of the tables are set up for the dinner. Everyone brought something and it's buffet style, so Sirena, Grandma Bernie and I serve ourselves.
"May I join you pretty ladies?" Byron asks after my grandma, Sirena and I sit down.
"Sure," Sirena says.
He's right next to me and I inhale the crisp, clean scent of soap. "I really enjoyed the service."
"Thanks. I had to put everything together in a hurry since I wasn't sure if I could get the time off. So Sirena tells me you're an EMT."
Finally, something I could discuss that wouldn't put him to sleep. I take bites of the brisket and potato pancakes some of the congregants had brought, and then talk. "Yes. I love it." I don't tell him that I'm on vacation because I was working too many hours, and snapping at patients and staff.  I also don't tell him that things always seem to go wrong during the holidays, at least for me. This year, it was my vacation, last year Max and I had decided we were better off as friends. "My parents wanted me to be a doctor and then a wife and mother. I struck out on both counts."
"Maybe you'll do that, too, someday," Grandma Bernie says.
"Maybe. How did you get the name Byron?"
The conversation flowed like the apple cider mocktails everyone was drinking. At least something is going right for a change. "My parents met in college in a romantic poets class. So my mom decided to name me Byron."
"Are you a poet?"
"Not really, although I've written a couple of songs." He gives an "aww shucks" shrug of his broad shoulders.
"Anything I've heard of?"
"No. I guess you could say I struck out on the poet/songwriter front."
Sirena hasn't said much; she's just eating her dinner and casting surreptitious glances at me and Byron when she thinks we're not looking. I remind myself to tell her that I'm not interested in her brother. Although he is cute. Okay, he's adorable, but there can't ever be anything between us, so I have to think about Brad Pitt or George Clooney or someone like that.

Nancy Goldberg Levine has been writing since she was seven. In 1999, she sold her first print romance novel, "Tempting Jonah." She has also sold more than seventy short stories. She writes sweet contemporary romantic comedies about every day people (no millionaires here). She self-published her first e-books, "Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny" and "Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless" in October 2012. To see these and other books in the 'Practically Perfect Hero' series, check your online bookstore.
Blog: Laugh with Me at wordpress.com/nancygoldberglevine
Facebook page is under Nancy Levine.
Pinterest: (this has boards for my stories and my alter ego, Vi LaNance's stories and other fun stuff: https://www.pinterest.com/vilanance/

I'll be Home for Chanukah in the Let it Snow, 2016 Holiday Romances Collection is Ms. Goldberg Levine's debut story with Victory Tales Press.


  1. Season's Greetings and this is a fine story. I'm also a lover of romantic comedies, especially the old black and white movies.

  2. I'm with you both. Love those romantic comedies. Cary Grant movies are my favorites. :)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful story! Mazel tov!


  4. Just to acquaint myself with another culture, I spent a year learning the prayers, how to make challah bread, and discovering what the celebration of lights was all about. It was such an interesting experience for me.
    I want to wish you all the best and great success with I'LL BE HOME FOR CHANUKA.


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