Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway: Grace Burrowes

Please join me in welcoming Grace Burrowes to Debbie's Book Bag today! Grace has a guest post in honor of the Christmas season. Grace's Christmas themed book, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish is available now and the publisher is sponsoring a giveaway. See details at the of the post.

One of the sweetest memories I own comes from the holiday season. I was a single mom raising my daughter in rural Maryland. Our house is a Civil War vintage log cabin with additions (indoor cooking came before indoor plumbing) and I still heat it mostly with wood.

Beloved Offspring was not quite school age, a busy, vulnerable time in life when the heart should still be innocent and the imagination Herculean. We’d had a tiring day, it was cold out, and our upstairs was by no means as warm as the downstairs. Story time happened downstairs are a result, and this particular night we decided to repair to the bentwood rocker in the living room for this most important aspect of the bedtime ritual.

Before we picked out a story, we both got into our jammies and slippers. The floor in my house is tongue-and-groove yellow pine over a dirt basement—slippers or thick socks are mandatory in colder weather.

Another non-negotiable aspect of the routine was that we would be joined by Favorite (short for Favorite Blankie) a ragged old receiving blanket whose blanket binding had been restitched all around more than once. We assembled—my daughter, me, Favorite, a story book, and maybe an ambitious house cat—in the rocking chair.

I forget the story, I forget which cats we had underfoot at the time, I forget what day of the week it was, but I do remember finishing the story—Goodnight Moon was a perennial favorite, as was as an odd little book called The Very Best Home for Me. Maybe we read The Runaway Bunny or How Soccer Saved Easter. All four fell into the “Mom doesn’t dare skip a single word” category.

I read with my daughter curled up on my lap swaddled in her Favorite Blankie, the same as I’d read to her on many other occasions. When I finished the story, she didn’t hop down—the words had performed their magic—but instead stayed drowsing on my lap.

“I like it when we read in the rocking chair,” she announced.

“Why is that?”

“Because when we’re in the rocking chair, I feel safe and warm and happy.”

THAT is what I wish for my loved ones, my readers, and my characters this Christmas and every day, that they feel safe and warm and happy. Financial woes come and go, health can get dodgy, worldly standing is undependable, but that feeling of being securely loved and lovable, that is beyond price and it makes every other challenge in this life bearable.

So for Christmas, I wish you a place where you can be safe and warm and happy—at least between the pages of a good book, but also with your friends and family. They are the best Favorite Blankie, the best storytellers, the best happily ever after I could wish anybody.

Happy Holidays!


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for two copies of Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes.

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses only (Publisher Request).
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST December 12th.

1. Please leave a comment for Grace or a special Christmas memory in the comments.
2. Please fill out the FORM.



Kathleen O said...

Grace what a wonderful memory to have. I am remembering a lot of past Christmas this year and reflecting on those wonderful times with my mom and dad. This will be our first year without both of my parents. As it will be for my Sister in Law too... Both mother's died within a week of one another. I have so many wonderful memories. Thanks again for sharing yours.

Martha Lawson said...

What a great memory to have!!

Grace Burrowes said...

Kathleen, my condolences on your losses. The happy memories help, but each "first" without a loved one--first Christmas, first Mother's Day, etc--is so hard. Make some new happy memories, and thanks for stopping by.

Grace Burrowes said...

Martha, I hope my daughter treasures those moments as well. Maybe this year I'll ask her if she even recalls what she said. It had to be twenty years ago...

lag123 said...

Your story made me safe, warm and happy!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Theresa N. said...

My daughter had a favorite blanket made by her great grandmother.
Theresa N

Grace Burrowes said...

Thanks, lag! Now that you mention it, Mom probably enjoyed that rocking char as much as Beloved Offspring did.

Theresa, my older sister had a "doakie," her favorite blanket, and I always envied her how good Doakie smelled--probably my mom's stealthy hand on the fabric softener at work. Sister took Doakie to college with her, and I believe she still has it. I mean him--Doakie was, is, a he.

Sue Farrell said...

I had a favorite stuffed animal, a lamb, that I carried everywhere with me--your story brought back such fond memories of it.

Sue Farrell said...

Have a warm and fuzzy Merry Christmas. Now I'd better leave the correct email address to match my entry---not the one above.

justpeachy36 said...

My daughter still has a favorite stuffed animal that comforts her when she's sad or lonely and she's 13. I don't expect "black spot" will be going anywhere anytime soon!

Thanks for stopping by Grace, but my readers always enjoy visits from the authors!

mamabunny13 said...

((Hugs)) for Martha.
My daughter (26) had a little stuffed dog she named Brownie when she was little ... she still has it :)
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I would love to live in a Civil War home. That is one of my most favorite time periods to read and learn about. I would love to read this book. This would be a new author to me. Thank you for the chance to win.


griperang at embarqmail dot com

Angela said...

This is my favorite time of year and now that I have a daughter I want to pass on traditions for her to remember. Such as putting a gingerbread house together while listening to old christmas favorites and drinking hot chocolate which is what we are going to do today! Thank you for the giveaway and hope everyone has a happy holidays!