Thursday, December 13, 2012

Special Guest Denise Patrick + Giveaway!

Hi everyone, and welcome to Thursday's installment of the Christmas Blog Party. For the most recent list of posts and giveaways, please visit here.

Today I'm thrilled to have special guest Denise Patrick, sharing about the best gift she's ever had. :) She's also generously offering a $15 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter!! Please follow her directions for the giveaway, and good luck!


Love for Christmas

The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. Not because of the music, or the festive atmosphere, the spirituality, or the gifts. I love each of those aspects, but for me the Christmas season brings hope. It brings hope that good things can and will happen, hope for the approaching New Year to be better than the last, and the optimism that life has a purpose and this might just be the year to discover what mine is.

Over the years, I have received and given many gifts. Some were fun. Some were pretty. Some were practical. Some were whimsical. But the best gift I ever received came 27 years ago today. Of course, I had to work for it, but having my daughter in December has added an extra helping of love and magic to the Christmas season for me. Unfortunately, the magic also comes with a downside.

Growing up with a birthday two weeks after Christmas, I was not fond of having my birthday mixed up in Christmas. As a child, I always felt as if I was somehow cheated by the proximity. And, while I no longer think that way, I didn't want my daughter to possibly feel that way either. For that reason, I always insisted that we not decorate the house until after her birthday - a difficult prospect for my husband, who always wants to put the tree up on or about December 1.

My daughter unwittingly solved the problem without ever knowing there was one. Each year since she was about five, when asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, she invariably wanted to put up the Christmas tree as a family.

Last year, she got married on December 6. Needless to say, with everything else going on, the tree didn't go up until close to her birthday - even though she wasn't here. This year, she and her husband will be here for Christmas, but definitely not by today. My husband and I have just returned from ten days in Austria and Germany, so maybe this weekend we will get the tree up.

Regardless of when we get around to decorating for the season, we will have a blast and remember the Christmas we had a 12-day-old who had no idea, but was fascinated by the lights.

Love for Christmas is also the name of my short story available from Samhain Publishing.

’Tis the season—for love.

Falling in love at first sight—with another man’s wife—was hell for Phillip Houghton. Never mind that he knew Julianna’s husband to be a thoroughly unsavory man, the ring on her finger meant she was off limits. 

Even after the man’s untimely death, Phillip put even more distance between them, leaving the country to give her time to heal. Three years later he is back, and determined that nothing will let her slip through his fingers. Not even his status as a second son. 

To all outward appearances, Julianna is content with her life as a widow with two small children. On the inside, the scars of her husband’s abuse feed her general distrust of men. Phillip makes her painfully aware of how lonely her life truly is, but why marry again when she has all the family, and security, she needs? 

Yet as Phillip wins over her parents and children, she finds herself drawn to him. Dare she trust her mind—and her heart—for a second chance with forever written all over him?
Warning: Never underestimate a man who is willing to deal with a two-year-old in tantrum mode.

I will be giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon. Leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be drawn tomorrow at noon EST and their name will be posted shortly after.

Denise Patrick


laurie said...

great post today. and would LOVE to win the gift card seeing as i am out of work and i could use that to get a couple of gifts

Laura Hamby said...

Looks like a lovely story. Love the Warning. :) Merry Christmas to your Christmas Season Baby from another Christmas Season Baby. :)

Shannon Ro said...

Aww...that does sounds like a really special gift. My dad's birthday is the 29th and I always worked really hard to make it special since everyone forgets it and it does bother him. This year they scheduled our family party on his birthday without remembering it was his birthday. Maybe it is easier to have a birthday before christmas while people are still in celebration mode. Sorry for the ramble, have a good holiday

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Joanne said...

Thanks for the great post. Thanks is a very special gift.
Love for Christmas sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Daniel M said...

liked the story intro, happy holidays and thanks for the giveaway! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Missie1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missie1 said...

This sounds like a really good story & I cant wait to read it. I was a victim of abuse for a short while & these type of stories always touch my heart (or pisses me Thank you for the giveaway & hope u have a joyous Holiday season. Big Hugs

missie25524 (at) netzero (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Your daughter must appreciate how you wanted to make her first. BTW, what an adorable baby photo!

Thanks for the giveaway.
strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

joye said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. Cute baby!


BLHmistress said...

My honey and two of my nephews bday's are in December. I try and not make them feel jilted with the holiday in the same month if I can.

Hope you and yours have a very Happy Holiday!


elaing8 said...

My sister and brother both have Birthdays in December, six days apart..My parents always made sure not to have them mingle together with Christmas.
Enjoyed reading your post today.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Happy Holidays

Jyl22075 said...

I have a friend who was a Christmas baby and is still whining about it to this day. :) I think some people never grow out of it. Your story sounds lovely. Happy holidays!

JYL22075 at gmail dot com

Denise Patrick said...

Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has made the effort not to mingle Christmas with a birthday. As an adult, it no longer bothers me, but children don't really get it, so I think it's important for them to know that they are important enough to be separate.

I'll be back tomorrow to pick a winner of the gift certificate.

ceagles said...

Hi Denise. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself and family with us. It was nice.

ceagles said...

Sorry about that. I'm using an Ipod Touch and it's very touchy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Kate Rothwell said...

Hi Denise! Best warning, ever, and I love Samhain warnings. That one's the only heartwarming one I've seen.

Brenda Jean Hyde said...

We never had a set date to put the tree up, and this year it's more about when we can get together to do it. My boys are 18 and 19 now, so my daughter who is 12 and I are doing the decorating. We are having a great time!

Merry Christmas:)
wayfaringwriter at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Nice post and cute pic.


K. April Holgate said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! Christmas is one of my fav seasons as well! Love the decorations and all the yummy food!!


pc said...

Love how you made your daughter's birthday separate from Christmas! I'm a November baby so my bday is always celebrated combined with's just too close to (always a few days before or after) the holiday but some years I rebel and insist on not having turkey on Thanksgiving.
Love for Christmas sounds like a lovely read...I'll go to take a look! Thanks for sharing and happy holidays!

flchen1 said...

What a sweet story, Denise! And yay for you, keeping your daughter's birthday special! As much as I love Christmas, I appreciate those who remember my birthday separate from Jesus' birthday ;)

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic...the happiest of holidays to you and your family, Jodi!


Denise Patrick said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. My daughter has always appreciated the thought, but she just loves Christmas, so doesn't mind.

And now, the random generator has selected Post #1 as my winner today.

Congratulations LAURIE. Your GC will be on its way shortly.

Thanks again to everyone who commented. And, thanks to Jodi for hosting me.

desitheblonde said...

we did the same my brother is xmas eve renumber mom would nt let us open the gift til she got home on the 29 which was a bummer dave come in to the world xmas eve and no gift but now he older we put the tree a day after thanksgiving because of is bd when my grand came over she gave us ther gift so we had 2 xmas that year

bas1chs said...

Cute cute cute picture. Thanks for sharing :)
bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

Booksrforever123 said...

I have a cousin who always felt that way growing up. His is today-Dec 28th and his gifts were always "combined" and he hated it.

laura troxel said...

Cute cover!!