Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Favorite Christmas Gift Of All Time with Barbara Bretton - and a Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway

Her name was Ginger and she was a six-month-old Irish terrier who had been returned to the kennel after being abused. She trusted nobody, was afraid of people and of dogs, couldn’t eat unless she was alone in the room, and clearly wasn’t the best bet for a young couple with a three-year-old daughter.

We fell in love with her at first sight.

I was the three-year-old daughter and I remember my first sight of Ginger like it was yesterday. We had the same hair, which was probably part of the equation, and on some level I instantly understood her wariness and, more important, her need for love.

And, boy, did I love her! Fortunately, so did my parents although I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew was that I needed Ginger even more than she needed us. My parents were in their mid-twenties and suckers for a hard luck story. Especially when the hard luck story included stray dogs and cats in need of a happy home. No matter that we lived in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment with my mother’s brother and father. We could make room for Ginger.

Now my parents were the undisputed king and queen of Christmas. They knew in their bones how to make the season merry. They created traditions and rituals that I still observe to this very day. There was one tradition, however, that they wished they’d never started and that was telling me that Santa Claus not only delivered presents, he brought the fully-decorated tree as well! (I’ll pause while you contemplate the absurdity of that notion . . . and my willingness to believe in magic.) Somehow Santa was going to make room in his sleigh for Ginger too and deliver her (along with our tree) to our top-floor apartment in time for Christmas morning.

See that photo? That’s the moment on Christmas morning when I first saw Ginger. (Although I think I was taking a peek at the tree when my father snapped the picture.) 

The other photo was taken later in the day when my mother was teaching me how to be gentle and quiet with our skittish new family member.

It was probably the most wondrous Christmas of my life. Ginger loved us the way the best dogs love their humans and we loved her back for thirteen years. She never really trusted anyone outside her family. She never learned to eat anywhere but in a room by herself. She was gentle and loving with us. She shared the back seat with me on thirteen summer vacations.

And she still shares my heart.

The Year the Cat Saved Christmas
Barbara Bretton

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

ISBN: 9781940665009

Number of pages: 80
Word Count: 22,000

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Book Description:

Christmas used to be the happiest time of the year in the big house on the hill. But this year when the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Day, it will all be over. Can Sebastian, a wily Maine Coon cat, find a way to bring his people back home or will this holiday be their last?

Previously published as "Home for the Holidays" in Penguin Berkley's anthology "The Christmas Cat."

Mrs. Scrooge
Rocky Hill Romances  
Book One
Barbara Bretton

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

ISBN: 9781940665023

Number of pages: 240
Word Count: approx. 65000

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Book Description:

Single mother Samantha Dean doesn't have time for Christmas. Or romance, for that matter. She is weeks away from opening her own catering business, the most important part of her plan to provide her certified genius daughter Patty with all the wonderful things she deserves.

Except Patty doesn't want to go to a fancy boarding school. She wants a father and when she meets bartender Murphy O'Rourke at her fourth grade Career Day presentation, she knows she's met the man of her mother's dreams!

But can she convince her Mrs. Scrooge of a mom that it was time to give Christmas -- and love -- a second chance?

Originally published in print by Harlequin American

Book #2 is also available now: BUNDLE OF JOY

About the Author:

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

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Roxanne Rhoads said...

thank you for sharing your Christmas memories with us.