Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Liz Flaherty Believes!

This contest is closed. The winner is Katrina Gillian!! Congratualtions!

KAREN: Liz Flaherty pens romance tales for The Wild Rose Press, Carina Press and Sillhouette. Her new romances Jar of Dreams will be released January 2013! Sounds fantastic readers and you can pre-order it now! 

***CONTESTLiz is giving away a cup and saucer (and maybe a teabag or two) to a lucky commenter. Read on to find out how you may win this wonderful Christmas present!!


      We were Christians, so believing in and embracing the “reason for the season” was never an issue. I had three older brothers, so believing in Santa Claus was an issue. In short, I never did. In our house, by the time I came along, Santa was a mythological folk hero portrayed, as Susan said in Miracle on 34th Street, by a “nice man with a white beard.” I liked him, I wanted him to be real, but I knew better. Some part of me wondered if the reason classmates got better presents than I did was that they believed in St. Nick and I didn’t.
         Twenty or so years later, my husband and I worked hard to keep our kids’ belief in Santa alive and well. Duane even gestured over the fallow fields we drove past and assured the back seat brigade that the rows only looked empty—they were actually filled with bumper crops of air oats. This peculiar grain, which grows only where there are children to imagine it, is what reindeer eat that allows them to fly.
         One Christmas Eve, we drove home from my family’s celebration through a Christmas card display of falling snow—great fat flakes falling straight down. Although it was only late afternoon, it was dark. The car was full of gifts and goodies and excited children.
         Duane saw the movement from the side in time to pump the brakes gently and slow to a crawl. Allowing the cluster of antlered deer to cross in front of us to the field on the other side of the road.
         The kids fell silent. Watching.
         “They’ll be working tonight,” said Duane.
         “Uh-huh.” As usual, I had a brilliant rejoinder to add to the conversation.
         “Filling up on air oats before they go out,” one of the kids offered.
         Looking back, I know the deer were whitetail, not reindeer. I know the only thing the field produced that night was a few inches of snow. I know that Duane and I did the Santa job later on that night, laughing and wrapping and eating his cookies and drinking his milk. I know all that.
         A year or two ago, I was driving somewhere with grandsons in the car. I don’t remember which ones or how old they were, only that there was more than one and it was wintertime. One of the boys lifted a hand, gesturing toward the field we passed. “Look,” he said. “Air oats.”
         I don’t care what I know—I believe.
         Thanks for having me here today, Karen. Merry Christmas to everyone who stops by! My next book is Jar of Dreams, due out January 14 from Carina Press.  

***CONTEST: Since Lucy runs a tearoom, I’m giving away a cup and saucer (and maybe a teabag or two—I’m not a purist) to a lucky commenter. Leave me an email address and—if you live in the US or Canada or Mexico—answer this question: What’s your favorite place for “lunch with the girlfriends”?
         Stop by and see me at or on FacebookJar of Dreams is available for pre-order at AMAZON or BARNES AND NOBLE. In case you need some convincing, here’s a blurb!

For as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar—her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it's safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert's nephew comes charging in to "rescue" his aunt.

Boone Brennan will be damned if he'll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she's just passing through, he's deeply suspicious of her—despite the sparks that fly between them.

Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?


Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Karen, thanks for having me today. We need a little happy right now, and digging into my memory bank gave me that.

Molly Daniels said... Best Blogger Tips

ROFL! Love the 'air oats'! Going to share this with the family:)

Favorite place for lunch with the girls is Applebee's, hands down. Esp the days when they have broccoli-cheese soup!

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, I like Applebee's, too. They have a great way around a margarita, too!

Brenda Rumsey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for sharing this memory. I also BELIEVE... And what a wonderful idea for your story.
My favorite place for lunch with the girls is Olive Garden for some of their soup and salad, but if everyone is in a hamburger mood it would have to be Fuddruckers. Yummm.
grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

I like that soup and salad, too, especially the chicken gnocchi (sp.)

Patty Froese said... Best Blogger Tips

My favorite place for lunch with the girlfriends is at one of our homes. We can relax, chat, not be overheard by other patrons... LOL! Perfection!

Loved your post! I love that your kids passed down the "air oats." It was obviously a treasured memory for them!

patty (dot) froese (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Patty! I agree--that's a really good place for girlfriend time. Thanks for coming by.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Liz, I'm so glad you could be with us today!

My favorite place with the gals is Polly's. We have coffee and pie. Love it!!

J.A. Garland said... Best Blogger Tips

Air oats! Omg, that's funny!

Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Liz and Karen!!

"Air oats." Too funny. Cute and magical post. :) I Believe!!

My favorite place for lunch with my girlfriends is BJs. We have lunch and share a yummy dessert.

katrinagillian at yahoo dot com

Merry Christmas. I hope it is magical!!

Shawna Thomas said... Best Blogger Tips

I love when traditions get passed down! Air oats. :) I love the Olive Garden or Cheesecake Factory. Live the breadsticks but CF has a lemon drop martini that is really good!

Ruby Johnson said... Best Blogger Tips

Wonderful way to keep the spirit of St. Nick alive. I remember the footprints in the ashes of the fireplace to this day.Thanks for sharing such a delightful memory. My favorite place for lunch is a little tearoom called Milk and Honey.

Carol Preflatish said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great story, Liz and a wonderful tradition that is being handed down through your family.

My favorite place to have lunch with girlfriends is a really neat restaurant in Salem, Indiana called Christies on the Square. My favorite is the chicken salad, poppy seed bread, and frozen strawberry salad. Yummy.


Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Karen. Polly's? I even like the NAME of that.

LOL, J.A. Air oats have been in my family so long I forget they probably ARE funny.

Thanks, Katrina. I never have room for dessert. Sigh.

Shawna, I've heard of that martini, but have never had one.

Oh, Ruby, both the memory and the place sound great. I love tearooms, and there aren't many around here.

Hi, Carol. I've seen that in passing, I think. We'll have to stop.

Karla Akins said... Best Blogger Tips

Any place is my favorite place for lunch with girlfriends! I like out of the way quirky places. My email addy is kkakins at gmail dot com.

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Karla!

Jody said... Best Blogger Tips

What a fun post. Never heard of air it! My prayer posse gals and I meet at a Chinese restaurant where we can get in and out on our lunch break. It's not the place, it's the gals. Thanks for making me smile today:)

Jody said... Best Blogger Tips

Oops, forgot my email.

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Jody. I know the company makes the difference--but some places are more conducive to girlfriendship than others!

Marianne Evans said... Best Blogger Tips

Great post, Liz - and air oats...who knew!!! :-D Thanks for a warm fuzzy and a big ol' smile. God bless, and Merry Christmas! Jar of Dreams sounds fab!! My favorite place to have lunch with the GF's is my own kitchen...or their kitchen...where memories spark, and laughter and comments can ring out with nothing but love between us. It's the best! xo

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

I agree, Marianne. Thanks for coming by!

Marguerite Hall said... Best Blogger Tips

Great blog post! Wishing you happiest of holidays! I live in a small town so I love having lunch with my BFFs at one of our homes. We tend to air a lot of our "oats" and after one public lunch session went local viral and a lot of accusations were bandied about we finally decided to keep off the grid so to speak.


Allison Knight said... Best Blogger Tips

What a wonderful story. Wouldn't it be great to have the faith of the little ones? Traditions knit one generation to another and "air oats" surely qualifies.

I live in the south near the gulf with all the luscious sea food. Too many great places to eat with friends but personally I love our Oyster House.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the story! Wish I had known about air oats when my kids were little. ;)
My favorite place, is anywhere we can all be together!! Especially since my one good friend has moved to KY.
Sometimes, it's Barnes and Nobles (books and snacks!!), sometimes it's our local favorite Italian restaurant, and sometimes, it's going through the drive-thru on a road trip. Anytime, anyplace, we always have a great time.


pmettert @ yahoo dot com

Jennifer Mathis said... Best Blogger Tips

we like to go out to Ryan's cause it buffet so everyone will find something they like and their bread is so my downfall

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

Congrats on the upcoming book! Don't have a favorite place. We like to go to different places every time.


Liz said... Best Blogger Tips

I like the idea of the air oats. ;)

Too bad I can't answer your question for the contest, as I never actually go out anywhere.

katsrus said... Best Blogger Tips

Mine would be Cracker Barrel. Love sitting close to the fireplace. Really enjoyed your post. Christmas is a magical time.
Sue B

Shawn said... Best Blogger Tips

I loved this story. Although my kids never beleived in Santa, I think the grandkids will. Last Saturday, we took grandbaby to see Santa. She had a fit! She didn't like him at all. I had to get in the picture to get her to do it.

D'Ann said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, love this story! Brought tears to my eyes.

Liz Flaherty said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much, everybody, for stopping by. All the girlfriend lunch places sound great! I'll award the cup and saucer as soon as the name is drawn (and I get the cup and saucer; it's ordered!)

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

And the drum roll please...
Katrina Gillian is the winner.


Thanks so much for being a guest!

Jean Maxwell said... Best Blogger Tips

Liz I want to read Jar of Dreams.

Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much!! Merry Christmas!!