The Herd Archives

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Post with Marquita Valentine + Giveaway (open INT)


We're welcoming Marquita Valentine to the blog today to celebrate day 12 of Authors for the Holidays! Woohoo! She's got a very sweet guest post for yall about her favorite Christmas memory. It's really cute and totally got an awwww (and a snort) outta me ;)

She's got an awesome giveaway down at the bottom for yall too! So check it out and give her a nice big welcome. She's one of my local authors and just delightful. She writes darn good books too (that have the best "make you smile" covers)!

~~*~~*~~

There's no time like the Present...         

War Hero, Joaquin Morales, returns to Holland Springs after years of estrangement from his family...and his wife. His new mission: To convince his wife that they have a Future together.


Falling in love with her husband for the second time was *not* a part of Sage Caswell's plans for the Holiday Season. She's convinced that what they had belongs in the Past.


With the help of a little Christmas magic (and a well-timed snowstorm), can Joaquin and Sage's dreams come true?

Get Your Copy

My Favorite Holiday Memory

It was really hard to narrow down all my Christmas memories to just one, because I’ve got the first Christmas Married Memory, First Baby’s Christmas Memory, 2nd Baby’s First Christmas Memory, Dog’s First Christmas Memory…you get the picture. <G>

Anyway, my favorite Christmas Memory is taking my then four year old and seven year old to Disney for the first time. That year Hot Builder (the husband) and I decided to do a family gift. (Of course, Santa still left prezzies for the kids.)

Hot Builder and I were so excited about sharing Disney with our kids. In fact I think we were, at times, more excited then they were. So you can imagine the build up for when our kids saw the castle for the first time.
My husband ran ahead of us, I held the kids hands, tears already welling. (Yes, I’m a big softie) And then…well, the youngest looked underwhelmed while the oldest spotted Snow White and began tugging me in the opposite direction. Not exactly the OMGosh moment we’d thought to capture on camera, LOL!

It didn’t matter. We had the *best* time ever and so did the kids. 

But it’s also those types of memories that so many of our servicemen and women miss while they are deployed. My sister, in particular, inspired me to write His Christmas Wish, and not make the hero a SEAL, but a 1st LT, with the same job duties she had while stationed in Afghanistan.
 
I can’t imagine a soldier’s greatest wish being anything other than making new Christmas memories as soon as he gets home.

                                                                               ~Marquita Valentine


Internationally bestselling author, MARQUITA VALENTINE, writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man -- and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

She loves hearing from readers. Contact her at marquita.valentine@yahoo.com


Marquita and all her awesomeness is giving away two ecopies copies of His Christmas Wish!!

Just fill out that Rafflecopter and answer Marquita's question :)

How about you? What’s your favorite Christmas memory?


38 comments:

  1. Favourite christmas memory yes it's hard to pick only one ...

    i'm a bit nostalgic today so i will say the first christmas we had with the dog and cat...also the last one with my father alive.
    My father was already really ill ( degenerative illness) so he wasn't the same andi enjoyed the time we had together...for christmas he tried to be on his best and he laughed so much when we started to give the gifts/presents becaus ethe dog and cat were so cute sitting just in front of the tree looking at each gift leaving and when i gave then their.. instead of starting on their package they started to destroy the wrapping on the opposite one^^ each one growling and pushing the other.. until the newspaper wrapping was everywhere and they just went to each of their gift ( the herb is greener on the side but in the end...their favorite treet stay their they didn't want to exchange or share^^)...
    that year we had a good meal all together, not incident just calm and hapiness ... i m missing it but i want to cherish this memory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i forgot my question: does this book is available in pdf too and are you translated in french?

      thank you a lot

      ( the cover is lovely!)

      Delete
    2. Miki,

      What a very sweet memory. Thank you for sharing it with us. ((hugs))

      And yes, His Christmas Wish (as well as all of my other books) is available in pdf at Smashwords.com :) As for the cover, thank you. The couple on it makes me so happy!

      Delete
  2. Sweet Christmas memories. I hope everybody has at least one to share. I know I have lots of them but perhaps one of the most memorable ones is the Christmases spent with my grandmother. Our families live in 3 states and do to the extreme tempts in 2 of them we spent few Christmases together however one Christmas we were all together except for 1 of my uncles who lived in Colorado and my grandmother decided we would take a plane and go see him. We left the rest of family the day before christmas eve and got stuck at the airport in yet another state however we were able to make it Christmas Eve. I was in 6th grade and it was my first plane ride. I also received my Michael Jackson Thriller album that year( telling my age) and it is a great memory I cherish :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,Beautiful Disaster (loved the book by the way-have you read it?).

      What a great memory. I loved how it was just the two of you travelling together to see that one uncle. Okay, so don't tell, but I didn't have my first plane ride until I was 23. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I live in a very small town in NC too. We have one stop light, LOL! We really don't even need that one.

    I met my DH when he was in the military and it seemed we always were apart for holidays. He got 2 leaves a year, 15 days at a time, which normally turned out to be 11 days so he could travel the other days. The second year he was in Germany, about a week and a half before Christmas, I received a package with all my Christmas stuff in it. He had mentioned that he was going to be out on a training exercise for a few days before Christmas and when he did those we didn't talk until he got in from them. I get a call early Christmas day from him asking me to pick him up in Charlotte. I was so shocked I believe I sat there for a few seconds before it hit me he was actually here! That was THE longest hour drive of my life. The best Christmas too. :)He's home now but those moments at the airport when I would pick him up will never leave me. I learned to always appreciate him, never get complacent or take him for granted because I remember what it was like those years not being able to just look across the room and see him, feel his arms around me as he hugs me, all the simple things most people take for granted.

    Thank you for the chance in the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Leah.

      The County in NC where my husband is from only has ONE stoplight. And the town I'm from had NONE. Does that make me really, really country? ;p

      I love hearing about memories like yours. Military families have it so tough and I admire them so much. :} Thank you for your sacrifice and your husbands!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Leah and your husband. For your sacrifice, support and service. Merry Christmas.

      Delete
  4. I think my best holiday memory would have to be a few years ago. My youngest daughter was sick again. She was in the hospital for the second time with RSV. She was born early with permanently underdeveloped lungs and a low immune system. She was a miracle birth from the beginning as the doctors gave me a 30% chance to live through the pregnancy and said there was no way she would come out without some form of brain damage. She was born tiny as can be and 3 months premature.

    The doctors didn't think she was going to pull through it this time. We had only 2 weeks until Christmas. So we spent every night with her that we could. Four days before Christmas she had a HUGE turnaround! Her temp went down and her lungs were finally clearing up. On the Christmas Eve we got the best present anyone could ever give us. WE GOT TO COME HOME WITH OUR BABY GIRL!

    I went through 5 doctors while I was pregnant with her because none of them wanted to take the risks I had while carrying her. I wasn't supposed to live through it neither was she. We defied their every statistic. They all wanted me to "terminante" the pregnancy and I refused.

    She is turning 7 years old this coming March. She has no brain damage, she still has problems breathing and a low immune system, but can play and have fun like her older sisters. She is in kindergarten and is flying through it with glowing praise from her teachers on how advanced she is.

    We named her Angelina Mae because she is, in every way, our Angel miracle baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Penni.

      OMGosh, I can't stop crying. This is such an amazing memory and gift. What a blessing to have a Christmas like that, and really, Angelina's entire life. Big hugs to you and your Angel.

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
    2. She is defintely a bit more spoiled than her older sisters. lol Though her sisters spoil her too at times. They both surprised her this year with bringing home their class made presents. They were supposed to go to the parents, but they decided Angel needed them more lol I love my girls. I just have to remember how sweet they can be when I am ready to pull my hair out after hours of fighting and screaming when they are cranky. lol

      Delete
  5. Besides all of the Christmas mornings of my son waking us up to see if Santa came one of my favorite things is the Dirty Santa game my family plays. We play with ornaments and to make it a little more fun and interesting I buy the ugliest, gaudiest ornaments I can find. It's always fun to see someone when they open the ugly ornament and they realize they are gonna be stuck with it b/c nobody will take it from them. My family loves to laugh and have fun and the Dirty Santa game always makes us laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Southerngirl,

      I lurves me some Dirty Santa, too! We play that game. I'm not going to point fingers (mostly because it would be at myself) but someone always tries to cheat. *ahem*

      Thanks for the laugh this morning!

      Delete
  6. A favorite Christmas memory is my first Christmas married, more than an hour away from my mom.
    Me and siblings always had to wait at the top of the stairs until dad gave us the go ahead. It all happened really in the middle of the night.
    I tried to keep it to myself. But I was dreading missing that madness. Not being a part of it. My wonderful husband woke me with the car packed and running, all warm inside. He shoved my feet into boots. Wrapped a blanket around me. He shoved me in the car.
    He got me to my parents house in time. We waited in the driveway for lights inside. Then surprised my mom by banging on the door. After she hugged the breath from me, she shoved me up the stairs telling me not to look, to sit with the other kids. It was a very special thing. We have been married my 32 years. My wonderful husband.
    lisakhutson at cox. net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Krazymama!

      What a totally sweet thing your sweetie did for you. I love it! :)) And congrats on being married for 32 years! *throws confetti*

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. Welcome!

    My favorite Christmas memory is always waking up super early to open our stockings while our parents slowly got up! Our stockings were always awesome and we got to see if Santa ate our cookies and the Reindeer ate the carrots we left out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, e.

      That's one of my favorite things to do. There's something about stocking stuffed with presents you can't see, each plunge of the hand bringing up something new...like a toothbrush. *grins*

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. As a Dutch reader, how can I not want to read a book set in Holland Springs? Thanks for this guestpost Marquita!
    My best Christmas, was the first one with my current boyfriend. The first time in years that I did not dread the obligated family event, where I would sit in a corner reading my book. Now I had someone for myself too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Aurian.

      YAY. Near where my fictional town is set, there is a community called Terra Ceia. Here's the webpage for the Tulip Farm there: http://www.terraceiafarms.com/About%20Us.html

      AWWW, I love your last sentence. Everyone deserves someone just for themselves!!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. Also, if anyone wants to give the first book in my Holland Springs Series a try for FREE, please visit my website for all the links for your favorite e-retailers. :)
    http://marquitavalentine.blogspot.com/2012/12/free-on-nook.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good to know! Thanks Marquita! I'll add that to our Friday Finds list this week :)

      Delete
  10. My favorite memory is when we got Orange Bowl tickets for our son to see FSU and Ohio State play. He's a big FSU fan and my husband is an Ohio State fan. We wanted to be really clever with the tickets so we thought putting them in a sugar bowl would be awesome. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a sugar bowl nowadays? We almost gave up, had one last place to try. Found it!!! Wrapped up the tickets in the bowl and waited for Christmas Eve. When he opened the box, he couldn't figure out why he would get a sugar bowl he was about 13. He thought it was a lame gift. Until we told him to take the lid off. He saw the tickets and at fist didn't think they were real. When he finally believed the tickets were real, he was sooooo excited. It was great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Julianne!

      That's hilarious! I can't imagine being a 13 year old boy receiving at sugar bowl as a Christmas present! bwahahaha...I love it! I hope you got pictures of his face-before and after.

      Thanks for sharing your favorite memory. :)

      Delete
  11. Sounds like a cliche but it's my daughter's first christmas when she was old enough to understand things!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My daughters (yes that was plural I have been blessed with 4 girls, 3y/o, 11y/o, 13 y/o and 17y/o)first Christmases...
    As well as my daughter, the 11y/o who was born 12 days before Christmas. I was pregnant with twins and went into premature labor the one passed away at birth but she came home 3 days before. That Christmas special to me ...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Favorite Christmas memories are tough. In general, I'd say the first Christmas for each of my children and grandchildren when they were old enough to feel the wonder of Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  14. WOW!! Look like this book will be a sweet and fun reading for Christmas. Looking forward to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, Marquita.

    My favorite Christmas memory is when I was trying REALLY REALLY hard to sneak and see Santa. I don't remember how old I was. But on Christmas morning, I found one of my presents from Santa in the fireplace. It was burning, so it was okay. My mom told me that I must have scared Santa and he dropped the present trying to get away.

    kvmatlock(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. When I was in 5th grade, my brother, mom and I went to Disney with my grandparents around Christmas time. It was perfect because NO LINES and we had the park practically to ourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have fond family memories of the large family gatherings when I was a child. Everyone is so spread out across the country now that our Christmas's are much smaller now.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My fondest memory is when one Christmas we came home to find our Christmas tree had been knocked down by our male boxer, Nicholas. The other two boxers (his sister Tatiana and their cousin Misty), were all the way up at the top of the stairs as if to say "It wasn't us!" Nicholas stood next to the toppled tree with this goofy smile and seemed so proud of himself that we just couldn't get mad at him. Plus we've always had a rule that if we do something stupid (like set the tree in front of his favorite window), then we had no right to get mad at the dogs. When we picked up the tree we saw that he had also gnawed off the arms and legs of the statue of baby Jesus my mom had placed next to the tree in a cradle. Oh and he destroyed (but didn't eat) several candy canes and there was red stains all over the carpet. That is my warmest memory from a bad time in my life and I hold onto it dearly.

    We're a dog family.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The most I remember was when I was in junior high school, we're going to school to celebrate Christmas event, we sang Christmas Song and got present :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. My favorite Christmas memory is spending the day at my sister's house with the whole family. After dinner we always loved hopping in the car and driving around town looking at all the lights and decorations. When we got back it was time for some pumpkin pie, yum! :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. Memories of Christmas with my family all together opening presents and playing monopoly are my fondest!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Memories of when i was younger, the whole family was present and the snow was falling *happy sigh*

    Happy New Year!
    //Linda

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lots of fav holiday memories-
    my sister's kids helping me decorate the tree when they were younger;

    couple of years ago when I got everyone the 'perfect' gift (kids screaming "I love this" is so much fun!);

    year before last when we were iced in and hubby & I had a nice and quiet time together (7 still got to see everyone a few days later).

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have sooo many Christmas memories. I always love this time of year. I would have to say that the time I spend with my side of the family is always fun. Weird but my whole family was actually VERY proud of my husband when he hid the dessert from everyone else. We always fight over food so when he did that, they knew he felt part of the family:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love watching my kids (6 yrs and 2 yrs) open their gifts! My memory of christmas is helping mom make christmas cookies and going to a local church christmas festival.

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete

I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

Bloggers don't forget to leave your links!
~Anna