18 December, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Memory

I'd like to say that my favorite holiday memory was when the man pictured to the left showed up under my tree...

Well it is my blog, so I'll go ahead and say it.  My favorite holiday memory is when the man to the left showed up under my tree.  The mistletoe was fresh, not that cheap, fake plastic kind, his lips were warm, and soft, and...

Ahem!  Okay. No fiction in this blog, time for truths.

My favorite holiday memory comes from the first year I purchased my house.  Nothing overtly special happened; I didn't get priceless gifts, I didn't have a whirlwhind romantic experience.  It was just me, my dogs, a Christmas tree, and a living room with bare plaster walls that I'd recently stripped the wallpaper off of.

But it was mine.  Not a rented room, not the tiny trailer I'd lived in, not space in my parents' home.  All mine.

Christmas Eve, my new neighbor brought a young man in the Big Brothers program over, a young man who frequently spent time at my farm helping with the horses and just generally hanging out.  Nice young man -- good kid with a good head, and I'm glad he had a positive influence in his life such as my then-neighbor. 

Anywho.  My neighbor and I had talked about Christmas gifts, and I had an old pony that really needed a home.  The young man already had a bond with her and my neighbor agreed to house the horse for him.  So that Christmas Eve, we handed this young boy who really didn't have much, let alone a "luxury" such as a horse, a halter, a shiny new lead rope, and a hunter green winter blanket to help the old mare keep warm.

He knew the mare might not have many years left, he'd known that since he met her.  But for him, he was glowing.  And as I sipped on some wine with my neighbor, and we watched him unwrap the gift, with Christmas music in the background and the lights from the tree casting warmth through my empty front room... it was a heartwarming Christmas.  After, we ate the special-order cookies I made at their request(s), played a few games, and we even went out in the freezing cold and played hide and seek.  Laugh.

I had a great time that year.  It was simple.  Quaint.  Memorable.
What about you?  Have you ever had someone give you something unexpected, maybe a little tarnished or frayed around the edges, but it was meaningful?  Or have you ever had the opportunity to give someone something they wanted and make a dream come true?

Gifts come in so many forms, and not all of them have to come at the holiday season. In STRIPPED, my January Berkley HEAT release, Brandon gives tarnished Natalya the gift of her heart.  In exchange, she mends a frayed-around-the-edges cop.   Of course, they have to wade through a pool of lies and fight just to survive, but in the end...

Coming January 3, 2012
Berkley HEAT
Erotic Romantic Suspense

Body of secrets…
As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya’s business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia. Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she’s willing to go to complete it.

Body of lies…
The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire. For Natalya, working the club could be the break she’s been waiting for. But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer. Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to.  As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but it’s Natalya’s that could destroy them both.

And here's my gift to you:

One random commentor, who answers the questions I posed above, will receive a signed copy of STRIPPED.

Click Me!
Don't miss the next stop on the RomFan Reviews Holiday Blog Hop!

Hop over to Amy Romine's Blog tomorrow, or for a complete Tour Listing click on the holiday-wrapped man to your right.

For your convienence, I've included the tour stops below as well:

Bobbi Brattz December 11th
Franny Armstrong December 12th
Regina Carlysle December 13th
Elizabeth Amber December 14th
Brita Addams December 15th
D.B. Reynolds December 16th
Beth Trissel December 17th
Tori St. Claire December 18th
Amy Romine December 19th
Skhye Moncrief December 20th
Carrie Ann Ryan December 21st
J.S. Wayne December 22nd
Shannan Albright December 23rd
Claire Ashgrove December 24th
Jacquie Rogers December 27th
Keta Diablo December 28th
Anne Holly December 29th
K.D. Grace December 30th



I can't really think of any "gift" like this but after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother gave me one of my grandfather's old pipes. Some of my earliest memories are of him smoking his pipe or cigars. I will always think of him when I smell pipes or certain cigars.

That was a lovely gift of giving the mare to the young man. I am certain he appreciated it and still recalls it fondly.

I hope you have a safe & happy holiday season.
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

June -- Thanks for commenting here, very much. I commented on RomFan about the pipe -- heartwarming memory myself.

Happy Holidays to you as well!

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