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!
***CONTEST: Liz 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!!
"I BELIEVE" BY LIZ FLAHERTY
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 http://lizflaherty.com or on Facebook. Jar 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?