Friday, December 02, 2011

SHAR'S BIG GIVEAWAY!!!



'Tis the Season to be Giving!

For the next two weeks I am going to be providing you opportunities to win my books! Why? Because I'm filled with Christmas cheer, that's why!

Beginning TODAY, I'll be offering a chance to win my 3-book Little Hickman Creek Series. Simply post a comment below about a special Christmas memory - and just like that, you're entered! On December 9, I'll throw everybody's name into a "hat", draw one out, and let you know if you're the lucky winner. The winner's books will ship out the following Monday! My next contest (beginning December 9) will be for a chance to win my 3-book series titled The Daughters of Jacob Kane, and then the third week (beginning December 16), I'll offer you a chance at winning my 3 contemporary stand-alone books AND...(dunt-ta-da-dah!!!) number 1 in my River of Hope Series, so that's a total of FOUR books that final week! (With a little luck and Christmas blessings, all winners should receive their books before Christmas!)

So, are you in? I hope so! I'm really looking forward to reading about your favorite Christmas memories. Who knows? Maybe I'll even find something I can use in an upcoming book!

Okay, summary:
1. Post a comment below.
2. Include a favorite Christmas memory.
3. If you happen to be the winner on December 9, I'll contact you! (If you sign anonymous, I won't be able to reach you.)
4. JUMP ON THE CONTEST BAND WAGON!

Many blessings and love to all!!!

40 comments:

Lynne said...

Favorite Christmas memory. Gosh, that's hard. Let's see - the Christmas tree went up every December 19 no matter what. My mother and I did the tree, and it HAD to be a real one, as my father couldn't. He had a stroke when I was 7 and couldn't use the left side of his body. After the tree was decorated we baked Christmas cookies that went in shirt boxes under the tree and were "picked" at until they were gone. Mom would wrap presents and put them under the tree and for the week before Christmas I got to open one small present a day. I tried to carry on those traditions but the times were different and my children don't care as much about tradition as I did. My dad would have me wrap his presents and he would get things like a package of toilet paper, paper towels, etc. Useful stuff for the house. Silly really but so much fun!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say that the Little Hickman Creek series are the ONLY books by Mrs. MacLaren that I have. So far. I'm planning - hoping - to get more.

Anyway, my Christmas memory, hmmm. I guess most of my Christmases in Qc have been pretty special. But there was one year, before my grandmother died of cancer after a 10-year battle. My grandparents lived in MI (my grandfather still lives in the house he built, actually) and we traveled all the way down there with a snowstorm on our tails. It literally followed us almost the etnire way. We tailed a tractor trailer in order to keep going. The snow was blinding, even though we were in the car.

Well, that Christmas, there were lots and lots of people - all family - present at the Christmas celebration we had at my grandparents' house. It was pretty special, because we've rarely all gotten together. i have family in practically every state, it seems.

Well, anyway, that's my favorite Christmas memory. Part of it, anyway.

Jody S said...

I remember celebrating with aunt/uncles/cousins every Christmas Eve. When I got married I stopped going to that celebration because I needed to spend time with my in-laws too!

SHARLENE said...

Lynne, how WONDERFUL! Loved reading this, as it brought back some special memories for me as well. So sorry your dad had a stroke when you were so young. That must have been hard.

I'm thinking about the Christmas memory I plan to write. Gotta give it a little thought.

SHARLENE said...

"Anonymous" and Jody, thanks so much for sharing your memories. Everyone's is different, but each is special in its own way.

Billi said...

A favorite Christmas is hard to pinpoint; my family always had good Christmases. We didn't have a lot, but we always had so much to be thankful for. The goal each Christmas was to buy something for my father that he couldn't figure out when he shook it - never happened.

Heidi Wojahn said...

One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year my parents bought be an 18 speed mountain bike. It was my first big bike. Purple and teal. I was about 12 years old, give or take. Matter of fact, I still have that bike. needs some minor help (the chain is rusted and the kick stand wont stay up) but it still works. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season Sharlene.

lesa m said...

My favorite Christmas memory as a little girl is the year I got a brand new Barbie and Ken doll. My Granny made a box full of clothes for these dolls. She stitched each garment by hand. I loved my Granny. I still have those doll clothes stored in a special place. It was a Christmas I will always treasure.

Sandy Kaczanowcke said...

Well my memory is not just one, but a memory of what we did every Christmas when I was growing up. We always went to my aunt's house where all the other cousins and aunts and uncles where too. There must have been over 40 people there every year. We ate in shifts and tables were set up all over, even in the bedroom. I thought it was the best gathering EVER, so much fun. But now as an adult, I can not imagine how much work must have gone into that day. This aunt is very close to me and unfortunately she is now 90 yrs old and in a nursing home some 600 miles from me. Every Christmas I remember those days and how much they meant to me.

Yvonne said...

I believe I was about 5 and lived in an old farmhouse in the country with my parents and 2 brothers. I loved that old house. I spent hours"exploring" all the nooks and crannies. But somehow, it seemed too large for a family of four. But that Christmas, we got an unexpected "gift". My aunt and uncle's furnace went out and they could not get a repairman out to fix it until after the holidays. So they, along with their 6 children came to stay with us in that large old farmhouse. What fun it was! I had my big girl cousin to hang out with, and we strung popcorn on thread and strung in on the tree. We sang Christmas carols and hung stockings. We played board games and chased each other through the large, cheerful home. My father had a tractor, and from somewhere we borrowed a hay wagon and took the rig through the back roads, our breath making vapor trails in the cold,clear night. And, oh, how much fun it was to open gifts with 9 children instead of 3! We all woke up on Christmas morning, and raced downstairs to the tree. Paper flying, gleeful shouts, there were lovely gifts under the tree to be sure. But the greatest gift of all that year, was the gift of family and sharing our hearts and lives. I was sorely disappointed when that horrible repairman did fix the furnace and my aunt and uncle and cousins left for home, gaily waving goodbye. I felt a tiny tear trickle down my little cheek...and hugged my dolly ever so tightly. And every year after that for many years, I prayed that one of my relatives furnaces would stop working on Christmas eve.

Betty Davis said...

I was born and raised by a wonderful dad and mom. We didn't have much but they always tried to make Christmas a time of remembering what it really meant as well as a few toys, fruit and nuts. We had no indoor plumbing and never had to pump water to bring in the house because of our size, One day just before Santa was to visit us mom and dad decided that my younger brother and I should go out to get drinking water. It was really cold and of course we didn't want too. When we got out to the pump there were apples everywhere on the stand. We flew back in the house and told them that Santa has been here. There were so many surprises like that that made our Christmas times so wonderful.

Salena Stormo said...

OK, so this might sound weird but when I was 7 on Thanksgiving night, right after we put up our Christmas tree and all the decorations our house caught fire during the night. We lost our tree and spent the next couple of months living in our travel trailer while repairs were made on the house.... so where's the happy memory you ask. :) Well, on Christmas morning my parents went into the house and decorated the living room all up and laid out our presents. I remember that Christmas the most becuase of all the hard work my parent's went through to ensure that my sister and I had good memories, not just bad ones. I was given my favorite doll that Christmas! :)

Salena
srstormo at yahoo dot com

Wishing EVERYONE a blessed Christmas season!

Terrie said...

Best Christmas memory is see all bright white Christmas at Grandmother's house. Lot of family and friends came and celebrate Christmas party at her house. I remember big gift I got from my parents is kitchen set when I was five years old. I went nuts and start played with it. Such fun times on Christmas.

Penny Baker said...

the most wonderful christmas memory for me was the first christmas that jared,ryan,and i were together as the baker family.of course my mom was there spending the night and that made it extra special... this will be forever in my heart !!!!!

Barb said...

I would say going to the "Christmas Walk" in Bremen, IN. People gather at a school and they bus groups out to a farm in the country that was set up to be like the towns in the Nativity story. As you approached the farm, you could see hundreds of luminaries lighting the pathways. Upon arrival we were given a scroll with our "family" name and an order to report to Bethlehem to pay our taxes. As you walk along the path, you pass through a marketplace where some are approached by Roman soldiers, the field where shepherds are watching their flocks,then the angels appear. Eventually you arrive at the inn where you're told there's no room so you keep walking on to the stable which, of course, has a star above it, then the wise men appear to worship the Newborn King! All complete with real people and animals along the way. Afterwards they served hot cocoa and cookies in a barn. All is very awesome and shared with some family members who are no longer with us, so that makes it all the more special of a memory.

kris said...

My favorite Christmas memory would have to be the year I was 15. My grandfather was a grouchy old fellow, usually went to the Club on Christmas eve to have a few beers , before dealing with all of his grandkids. I drew his name in the draw. What to get someone who didn't want anything.
So I took a plastic five gallon pail and stuck a tree branch in the bucket. I then filled it with cement. I proceeded to tie $1 bills to the branches. I also wrapped large naval oranges and tie them on . I put the bucket in a wagon and dragged it to his house, a mile away,Well pap loved it...he talked about his money tree every time the subject of gifts came up. I will always the remember the Christmas I made pap happy.

Sharlene Klumpp said...

Well, I'm and triplet, we are Sharlene (me), Marlene and Darlene, and I remember from the time we were little until we were older and even married with children, my mother would still give the three of us the same thing; same size, same color, item for Christmas.. We would sit around each other and open our exactly wrapped present at the same time, and lift up the box cover at the count of three, so neither one of us would know what was in the box before the other one would...My mother loved going into the store and telling the clerk that she would need the same thing in the same size and color because she had triplets...I miss her so....Merry Christmas Mom...xoxo

anniigirl54 said...

My favorite Christmas was the last one I had with my father back in 2009 just prior to his death. He had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We had been estranged for more than 10 years and we had only been in contact for a month when he was diagnosed. Our last Christmas was sooo bittersweet. We talked, we laughed. We exchanged no gifts except that of love, life and memories. God was so good to me to give me those last four months to make things well between my Dad and I. I will always be thankful that Dad and I had that last Christmas together. He's in heaven now. I know because he promised to kiss the face of Jesus for me upon arrival and on the day of his funeral, a rainbow appeared over the funeral home parking lot. Dad kept good on his Christmas promise!

Diane Dean White said...

I'd love to share a Christmas memory with you Sharlene!! It takes place in the mid 50's and my favorite thing to do after we went to the tree farm to get our own Christmas Tree, was to tip toe down early in the morning and sit with the big egg style lights on, next to that tree. It was dark still and I'd just breathe in the special feeling of a young 7 year old girl, wondering in awe what Santa would bring. I still have some of those same feelings at Christmas each year.

tnutt said...

My favorite memory is of eating a yummy Christmas dinner (on Christmas Eve) and then all the kids bwing taken out to see Christmas lights and such while the ladies cleaned up. We knew that when we returned the present opening would begin. Kids went first, one present at a time and then the adults. We always stayed the night at whoever's house it was held and did a huge breakfast and stockings on Christmas morning. All the "kids" are grown now and some are married so the traditions are changing, but it is fun to start new ones!

tnutt said...

My favorite memory is of eating a yummy Christmas dinner (on Christmas Eve) and then all the kids bwing taken out to see Christmas lights and such while the ladies cleaned up. We knew that when we returned the present opening would begin. Kids went first, one present at a time and then the adults. We always stayed the night at whoever's house it was held and did a huge breakfast and stockings on Christmas morning. All the "kids" are grown now and some are married so the traditions are changing, but it is fun to start new ones!

Linda Glaz said...

Charlene, how can I forget the year my father bought me a small metal sewing machine (that really worked) and built a stand and all for it to fit on? I've never forgotten, or the year before Barbie was all that much, that my grandmother bought cute little Barbie-style dolls for my cousins and me, bought clothes trunks for them, then sewed at least a dozen outfits for each doll. We were so thrilled. I could kick myself to this day, don't know what happened to either gift. Hmmph. But the memories live on.

Sandi Gorin said...

My best Christmas memory came just a few months after my husband walked out on my two precious daughters and me. We moved out to AZ where my precious parents lived and tried to rebuild our lives. Christmas in the desert was going to present a challenge and I wanted it to be special for the girls without their Daddy there. They still believed in Santa Clause ... and there wasn't any snow. I hung what few lights we had and put up a small tree. Did you ever put lights on a cactus? Anyway, I came up with an idea that had the girls thrilled.

I took an old pair of shoes (of course after the girls retired) and dipped the soles into a bowl of flour. Then I walked from the front door over to the tree leaving large footprints of "magic snow." When the girls awoke, they saw those footprints and knew Santa hadn't forgotten them or lost them in the move! I sat down on the carpet behind them and as they opened their little gifts, I took a dish towel and slowly rubbed away each foot print. By the time the gifts were opened, Santa's magic snow prints had disappeared!

The girls grew up and they figured it out of course, but they always remember our first Christmas on our own and Santa's magic snow.

Little Lady said...

My favorite Christmas memory was the year we had no Christmas tree. My dad was barely making enough money to support our growing family of four kids (with one on the way). I was four years old and I remember my parents announcing that this year there would be no tree, and probably no presents. I remember crying thinking it was going to be a terrible Christmas! When I woke up Christmas morning, I came out of my room to see the nativity my dad had made sitting on a dresser in the living room, all lit up. Around the dresser were four little presents. We grabbed our stockings and they were full of nuts, fruit, and a bag of M&M's a piece. That Christmas was my favorite Christmas. It was humble, but real! And presents or no presents, tree or no tree, we had a beautiful Christmas celebrating God's provision and love!

Jenny said...

I wouldn't necessarily say this is a Christmas memory but more of a tradition. When my sister and I were little girls, we always opened our presents on Christmas morning. Somewhere along the line, we convinced our parents to let us open "just one" present on Christmas Eve after the evening church service. Every year we say that we will open "just one" and every year, we open ALL of our presents!

Amanda said...

Shar,
My favorite Christmas memory was being pregnant with my second daughter and really hoping she would be born before the end of the year. She was due January 1, 2000! Was supposed to be a millennium baby!! (Who wants that due date? Remember Y2K? Ugh!!) Well, I went into labor and she was born December 29th and we were home by the 31st. It was the best Christmas gift anyone could ever have gotten!!!

It was great seeing you at the Great Lakes Conference and getting to chat!! Here is my email although I am on Amanda's gmail right now!!

Thanks and Merry Christmas,
Chris Barratt
djbarratt@hotmail.com

SHARLENE said...

Oh, my goodness gracious, thank you for sharing all your beautiful, heartfelt and precious, sometimes emotional Christmas memories. What are you trying to do to me - turn me into a blubbering idiot? haha.

Seriously, love all your stories, and I want to thank you for your vulnerability in sharing them.

Stay tuned for next week's assignment when I'll be giving away my Daughters of Jacob Kane series.

With Christmas Love and Joy!

Shelske said...

I can remember some of the great gifts my parents got for me & how I loved my room where all those gifts were. Being that my birthday is 6 days before Christmas I sometimes thought I missed out on a birthday but then my parents made sure that I knew that I got this for birthday & this for Christmas. When I wanted a bike, they celebrated my birthday on June 19th so I would be able to have my bike all summer. I miss my parents at times like these but I know they are still with me with all my holiday memories.

Jessica Botbyl said...

Christmas time brings back the thoughts of making christmas cookies with my Grandmother, Mom, Aunt and older sister. we usually made so many cookies that even the tables in the living room had towels covered in wax paper for cookies to cool on. we made just about every cookie you can think of including some from our Slovakian heritage, my favorite, Slovak Pastry Cookies. as years passed, the cookie tradition grew and grew. everyone knew what they would get from us as a gift: cookies. it's a tradition that I hope continues on for a long time!

Janet S. said...

My favorite Christmas memory is of trudging through the snow at the Christmas Tree Farm out south of Grand Haven with the whole family trying to find the perfect tree. We would cut it down and drag it back to put on the car. When we got it home we'd try to put it up in the living room and every single year it would be too tall by about a foot. All the "girls" would hold the tree while my dad "took a little off the top". We laughed every year. After that we'd decorate and talk about the ornamants and finally sit back with cocoa or coffee and admire the tree together.

Vicki said...

My favorite Christmas memory is this:
My oldest sister got married when I was 3 years old. Each year her husband Vern would dress up as Santa Claus and come to our house with a few "sneak peak" toys. He always said he'd be back the next night while we were asleep to leave the rest of our toys. He did this for years, until the last child in our family was to old for Santa. One year I heard sleigh bells and ran to the window. I believed with everything in me that I saw Santa and his reindeer flying through the sky. A few minutes later Santa was there.

I still feel Blessed to have had him for a brother in law!

Arleta said...

When my 3 children were young and very creative, they would put on a Christmas program for the grandparents. They dressed up in their bathrobes and found old sticks and even gathered their stuffed toys and dolls to create a manger scene. They acted out the nativity story in a childlike way that was so precious and heartwarming. What a wonderful memory!

Johnna said...

Shar, you're such a blessing! Favorite Christmas memory: Newly married and jobless, we had no money to shower my niece and nephews with gifts. However I wanted to give them something and decided to write stories about the wonderful people they grew up to be. Twenty years have passed and they still bring up that personalized gift they treasure. It reminded me that Christmas warmth is about who we're with and who lives in us, not about all the stuff.

Nancee said...

I want Shar's books for Christmas, but this crazy link won't send my past 2 comments to her. Sniff.....
Nancee

SHARLENE said...

Nancee, I have no idea why you weren't able to get your Christmas memory post to come through, but you were able to post that the link wouldn't work. I'm giggling. Sorry, dearest.

Thanks, Johnna. You're a blessing as well!

Melody said...

When I read the descriptions of these book, I was so delighted to see that one of them was about a schoolteacher! My just love historical fiction about teachers...I even have a few chapters of one myself (and more plans). I'd also love to read another book about a mail-order bride; if I don't win this giveaway, I'm definitely looking them up at the library!

All right now. I just love Christmas memories. A lot of my favorites are included in one happy Christmas: the one when I wast ten. My older sisters, who both lived far away, came with their small families and all stayed in our house! We had a very full house, and quite fun, being all together...playing games and talking and laughing; doing all our Christmas traditions together.

JoyAveryMelville said...

A constant at our home was Christmas with my maternal grandparents and great aunt and her brother, my great uncle. What a great time of celebration - even when the gifts were a LIFE-SAVER BOOK and a book to read - sometimes with socks or if we were amply blessed - a new night gown or jammies.
My favorite was the time my elder siblings and parents gave me a BIG doll and my married sister and her husband gave me a doll buggy - that had to have been the BIGGEST in the gift-giving department and what I remember the most was the way my siblings were as excited about surprising me with the doll, her clothes, a REAL baby bottle AND the buggy as I was in the receiving. I remember to this day the smiles and sparkle in their eyes as they brought out the gifts.
It was the year I'd spent several weeks in the hospital so the homecoming was especially sweet!

Anonymous said...

What great gifts you are giving. Thank you for a chance to win them.
My favorite Christmas memory is the one I was all ready for early. We had 3 children & Santa was all hide away under lock & key because our 4th. child was due on Christmas day but he didn't want to wait so he came on the 20th & I got to come home from the hospital on Christmas Eve.Our 5 year old daughter thought Santa had sent him to her & was a second Mom to him till he grew up. That was one Christmas I'll never forget.
Wilma Metcalf

wilmamet6(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

My best Christmas memory is My oldest son being born. He was born December 24th, 1998. Who can ask for a better Christmas present. Seems like just yesterday I was in the hospital holding my baby boy and soon he'll be 13yrs old. Where has the time gone? Hope everyone has a very blessed Christmas!!!!
jennydtipton@gmail.com

Mae said...

A favorite Christmas memory is the one where my firstborn son was born 6 days after Christmas.