I'm super thrilled to have my fellow Jster, Jody Wallace, as our special guest today. Not only is Jody one of those rebel "Jody ends with a y not a i, damn it" purists, she's also a fantastic jingle creator. And we all know what a supporter I am of the jinglists. And hey! She's also offering up a copy of her fantastic holiday novella, Claustrophobic Christmas, to one lucky commenter!
So without further ado, please welcome, Jody!
The Twelve Days of (Wallace) Christmas
I thoroughly appreciate the winter holidays. I don't see my siblings every day, particularly my brother, and the December vacation is a treasured week in all of our schedules that has remained sacrosanct, no matter where life has taken us. We all convene at the matriarch's home, my mother, a small house on lots of land in a very rural part of Tennessee.
Now that some of us have been fruitful and multiplied, there are children to incorporate into our traditions. This has changed the flavor of the vacations somewhat. Not in a bad way, but the transition has definitely been interesting. We don't -- can't -- stay up till two AM laughing and drinking and playing board games anymore, because there are little ones trying to sleep. [And also, we got old(er) and can't handle the late hours ourselves.] We have to sneak around and prepare Santa gifts under the suspicious and watchful eyes of the offspring, including travel arrangements. Getting a kid-sized Jeep to Grandma's in the back of the minivan is no easy feat, let me assure you, and neither is putting together a billion piece Playmobil Princess castle on Christmas Eve when the power has unexpectedly gone out.
This year the vacation has been especially hectic. Here are twelve reasons why, to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas.
On the first day of Christmas my family gave to me...
One strain of influenza A! (And we all had our shots, too, dammit.)
On the second day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Two clinic visits...and one strain of influenza A.
On the third day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Three bored kids (trapped inside with the flu and because it was cold and rainy.) (etc.)
On the fourth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Four angry cats (Also trapped inside because it was cold and rainy.)
On the fifth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Five meals a day! (Approximately. And technically I gave the meals to my family, since I did the cooking.)
On the sixth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Six fleecy layers (Did I mention it was cold and rainy and several people caught the flu?)
On the seventh day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Seven jokers joking (Not even the flu could stop all the bad puns and jokes about catching the flu.)
On the eighth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Eight groaners groaning (Either from the bad puns or the flu.)
On the ninth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Nine family members (After the brother in law left because he couldn't get much time off work, not because he was a butthole.)
On the tenth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Ten fingers painting (Often in inappropriate places with the finger paints I specifically told my siblings NOT to get for my kids, though it was nowhere near as bad as the Barbie Glitterizer two years ago I told them not to get for my kids.)
On the eleventh day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Eleven noisy gifts (Oddly enough many of these were for my adult brother, though that didn't stop the kids from using them nonstop.)
On the twelfth day of Christmas my family gave to me...
Twelve big hugs (So that's how the flu leaps from person to person.)
One year our whole vacation started with an ice storm. The precipitation clogged up the roads between my mother's house and the states where my brother and sister lived at the time. Their trips home were extended by as much as twelve hours when they got stuck in snowy traffic jams en route. So today I'd like to give away a copy of my holiday novella, Claustrophobic Christmas, which is -- in a VERY non-incesty way -- based on my siblings' wintery car trips.
About the book:
Travel Queen Survival Tip #23: If you get stuck in an ice storm, find a hot guy to keep you toasty.
Travel agent Darcy Burkell has a secret. She doesn't precisely jet around the world despite what’s implied in her popular newsletter about vacation destinations. When she hires photographer James Jones to illustrate her stories, they become close cyber-friends, comparing notes on exotic locales, vacation spots, and much more.
James is sure that Darcy in the woman for him—someone who’ll travel with him instead of expecting him to stay home all the time. Putting his ideas into action, James shows up at Darcy’s office unannounced and suggests they take a holiday trip together.
Darcy is too embarrassed to admit her phobia and turns him down flat. She knows what kind of woman he wants, and she’s not it. But her resolve is tested when she and James become gridlocked by an ice storm. Impassable roads force them to spend hours together in his vehicle...shivering. And cuddling.
But will the fires still burn between them after Darcy confesses her big secret?
Warning: This title contains dreadful weather, a medium-sized misunderstanding, jelly beans that taste like boogers and coitus interruptus by redneckus.
Link at my site:
I also have a middle-grade/YA holiday story called The Worst Christmas free right now, which is a prequel to What She Deserves (another novella with Samhain) but is also a complete story in and of itself. It's about a different ice storm in the lives of the protagonists when they were in high school. Here's the link to the book at my website, where you can choose your vendor. Note that it's not free everywhere but Smashwords does have every format you would need:
Thank you to Jodi, my fellow J-ster, for organizing all these holiday posts and giveaways! It was fun to pop my head out of my flu-riddled vacation for awhile and make everyone leave me alone long enough so I could work.
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist