Friday, December 26, 2014

First Christmas in America - Part 5

Good morning and a lovely day-after-Christmas to all my favorite Friday Fiction Fans!
I hope you all had a merry Christmas yesterday. It's hard to believe that Christmas Day 2014 has already come and gone. This is rather a strange year for us. It will be the first time in my life that my family is not either already at my grandparents or heading up there today. We are going up on Monday instead.

This week was more relaxing than last week, but the days didn't seem much slower. :P We had "Christmas" with my brother and his family on Saturday and enjoyed watching the kids open their gifts. Sunday night was the Christmas program at church. My sister and I got to go caroling with a group from church on Monday night to the homes of the widows in the church. That was so much fun! Tuesday and Wednesday I didn't do a whole lot. I got a few things taken care of and I did read some.

And if you or anyone you know, would like to get a free kindle copy of "The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers" you can get it on Amazon! Feel free to share this information with anyone you would like! And if you've read this story, be the first to leave a review on Amazon about it!

My book “Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories” is now available on audio! Yep, you can now listen to someone read these fun stories. Get a copy for yourself, your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews and enjoy while someone else does the work of reading. This audio book is available on iTunes, Amazon and on Audible. If you are not a member of Audible, here is a very easy way to get this book for only $1.00 and . . . well, read the steps and you’ll see what I’m trying to say. :)

Step One:
Sign up for a free Swagbucks account. Swagbucks is a great way to earn a little extra spending money through Amazon or other gift cards! If you are already a member of Swagbucks, feel free to skip this first step. :)

Step Two:
Use this link to then sign up for a 1-2 month trial of Audible for just $1 per month PLUS receive 600 Swag Bucks for completing the offer. That's more than enough points to redeem for a $5 gift card!

With this trial offer, you will receive 1 credit for each month (up to two months) for just $1. Your credit can then be redeemed for a FREE audio book of your choice. If you do not want to continue past the first or second month, you will want to cancel as soon as you use the credit for that month so that you don't accidentally get charged full price for an additional month.

Step Three:
Once your account is set up, search for Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and add it to your cart. Your total will be $0. Complete your purchase and download the audio book to your computer, tablet, or smartphone, and you are ready to listen and enjoy!

That is like getting PAID to get this book for yourself and children to listen to! You will spend $1-2 out of pocket and receive enough points back to redeem for a $5 gift card plus having 100-150 points left over to put toward a second gift card!

** The Swagbucks link above is my referral link. If you would prefer not to use it,  you can go straight to the website**

As for writing, well, let's just say I tried. Didn't get more than a few sentences written, but I did try. Not sure if I'll be able to get the final Christmas story finished before next year or not. It would be nice if I could. You all can pray I get the right ideas and the "want to" to finish it.

I know I'm looking forward to getting back to "Dr. Morgan" in January! I'm as anxious to find out what happens as the rest of you are. And if any of you have any more ideas, suggestions, questions or anything for or about this story, let me know! I'll be re-reading all the parts I have written and any suggestions I have received before I start writing.

But I suppose you are ready to find out what happens in this story. So here it is.

First Christmas in America
Part 5

    The day dragged slowly by. With the house as clean as soap and water and many pairs of sturdy young arms could make it, and not much else to do, the children spent hours roaming from room to room looking out the curtainless windows in the hopes of seeing the longed for sight of Mama, Viktor, Lidiya, Yury and Sofia. When they grew cold, they sat in the warm kitchen where Ana had a large pot of thin soup simmering, and told stories. They sang every Christmas song they knew and every few minutes one of them would jump up to run and look out a window.
    “Oh, I do wish they would hurry up,” exclaimed Polina for the twentieth time. “All this running to the windows is making me tired.”
    Ana laughed, “Then I suggest you sit down for a while.”
    “But we might miss them,” Polina replied, and jumping back up, ran to peer out the front windows. The other children followed her, for they hadn’t looked out the windows for three whole minutes and they might have missed something.
    Papa was outside. He had taken the coal shovel he had found and was slowly shoveling a path from the front of the house to the road. This at least gave the children something to watch and no one noticed the taxi coming down the road until it stopped before their house.
    “A car!”
    “Ana, come!”
    Klara watched in breathless excitement. Would it be another telegram or would Mama get out? She didn’t have to wonder long, for the driver climbed out and opened the back door. Out stepped a slim figure who ran through the snow to throw herself into Papa’s arms.
    “Lidiya!” Polina shouted. “They have come!”
    There was a wild race to the door and the Ivanski children, unmindful of coats, tumbled out to be reunited with Mama, Viktor, Lidiya, Yury and Sofia. For a time confusion reigned and all tongues chattered at once. No one noticed that the driver stood watching them for a few minutes before climbing back in his automobile and driving on up the road.
    It seemed impossible to ever get the Ivanski family in to the house, but at last, Ana took Sofia from Mama and carried her inside where it was warmer. Klara saw her go and followed with Yury and Marina clinging to her hands. This act attracted the attention of the others and they quickly hurried inside too, for the wind was bitter though they hadn’t noticed it before.
    Klara never could remember clearly everything that happened next. Everyone had to warm up in the kitchen before seeing all the house; stories of what had happened since they had last seen each other had to be told and commented on. Mama praised the cleaning, and Viktor went down to the basement with Papa to take a look at the furnace. Neither one, however, could discover how to make it work and they had at last given it up.
    During the cleaning of the house, the girls had discovered a small door, before unnoticed. This hid a narrow staircase which led to the attic. In that room several old, broken pieces of furniture had been discovered and these Papa had brought down. He had only had time to mend the rocking chair, and here Mama was established while they ate their simple supper.
    “It is a good house, Papa,” Mama told him, with a smile. “God has been good to us.”
    Papa nodded. “Yah, Mama, God has been good to us. Ve have a house, I have a job after Christmas, and ve are all together again. Let us thank Him.”
    Together the family bowed their heads while Papa offered a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving.
    Dusk was settling over the white world outside and the Ivanski children left the warm kitchen for the larger front room. Viktor built a blazing fire and the children were quiet a few minutes before impetuous Polina burst out, “I can’t wait until tomorrow!”
    “Why?” Lidiya asked, admiring the mantelpiece.
    “Because tomorrow is Christmas!”
    “Polina,” Ana said quietly, “tomorrow will be not much different from today.”
    “But tomorrow is Christmas,” Kristina began.
    “And we will surely find little gifts like we always do,” Polina chimed in.
    Ana shook her head. “But Papa has almost no money, Polina. What he has we must save for food.”
    A moment of silence pervaded the room. The little ones looked at their elders, trying to understand what they were talking about. “But we have to have Christmas!” Polina pouted, folding her arms. “It is our first Christmas in America and—“
    Here Viktor interrupted. “See here, Polina, we will just have to make next Christmas extra special.”
    But Polina wasn’t to be convinced. “I don’t want to wait. I want it tomorrow!”
    “Well, . . .” Klara began slowly, “what if we make it special.”
    “How?” Kristina looked at her almost twin. “How, Klara?”
    But Klara was looking out the window. “Viktor, am I seeing things?” She heard her older brother step up behind her. “See, over there. Do those look like moving lights?”
    All the children crowded eagerly around the windows and then fell silent. Into the quiet room, through the window panes, came the faint sound of a song.
    “Our cousins told about people who go sing Christmas songs before houses,” Lidiya whispered. “Perhaps they are coming to sing for us.”
    No one offered a reply for the song grew a little louder and the bobbing lights came closer. Klara turned and slipped into the kitchen to tell Mama and Papa about it. Mr. and Mrs. Ivanski joined their children at the windows where they too, peered into the darkening night. Could it be carolers? But no one knew them.
    “Have you made any friends here?” Mama asked.
    Papa shook his head. “No, I have only spoken vith the taxi driver and the shop keeper. He is the von who had the key to the house.”
    The music was now so close they could hear the words:
    “Oh come let us adore Him,
    Oh come let us adore Him,
    Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord”

    The unknown singers turned onto the partially shoveled path before the house. There seemed to be dozens of them. Several carried a large tree, some had covered baskets, others had packages of some sort and they were all coming right to the front door of the Ivanski home.
    “They must have the wrong house,” Mama gasped. “Why do they come here?”
    A rap on the door prevented any answer. For a moment no one moved. The knock sounded again and a voice called out, “Mr. Ivanski, this is Mr. Weber from the store in town.”
    Papa stepped over and opened the door. A shout of “Merry Christmas!” filled the air. “Vhat is this?” Papa asked, as his family gathered around the open door in wonder.
    “We all wanted to welcome you to America,” Mr. Weber beamed. “These folks are all your neighbors or from town, and we wanted to make sure you all had a merry Christmas.”
    As Klara and the rest of the family watched with eyes wide with wonder, the entire group of new neighbors trooped into the house. There was much talk and laughter, many friendly greetings, smiles and kind words. Klara found a secluded doorway and from there saw a tree set up and decorated as if by magic. From nowhere candles and lanterns appeared to light the room, while brightly wrapped packages were set under the branches. The baskets were carried by pleasant faced women into the kitchen and their contents of bright and colorful jars of food, several pies, tins of cookies and even a few bags of flour and sugar were placed on the pantry shelves. A pile of warm quilts was stacked against the wall. Sofia and Marina were seen hugging new dolls while Yury held a teddy bear tightly in his arms.
    When at last everything had been done, and even the furnace had been made to work, the visitors gathered near the door and Mr. Weber spoke again. “Merry Christmas, friends. May God bless your new life here. And we all wish you a happy new year!” Then, almost as suddenly as they had come in, the visitors departed, and the sound of their singing echoed across the snowy fields on the still night air:
    “Silent night, holy night,
    All is calm, all is bright.”

    Klara felt a sudden tightness in her throat as she looked around the room now glowing with the candles on the tree, at the mysterious packages under its branches, the toys in the younger ones’ arms, at her family gathered together. Tears began to trickle down her cheeks. She knew that no matter how many Christmases she had, never would she forget her first Christmas in America.

What did you think?
Did you enjoy it?
The last part with all the neighbors, really happened.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

In the Lighthouse

 Since some of you enjoy these short snippets of stories taking place in my winter village of Garlandsburg, I thought I'd post one I had written but never posted. I wanted to take you on another tour of the village, but I haven't had the time to write it. There were also other ideas floating in my mind for this December, but as you may have noticed, I haven't exactly spent much time on this blog. Sorry. My last Christmas story is still unfinished. Perhaps I can finish it before the New Year. But I will leave you with this short story.

In the Lighthouse

    “Mama,” little Lucas tugged at his mother’s skirt. “I want to go watch for Papa.”
    Turning from counter to table with a bowl of batter in her hands, Crystal nearly tripped on her little son. “Lucas,” she sighed, “I jest took ya nearly to the top o’ the lighthouse not thirty minutes ago and there was no ship to be seen.”
    “But, Mama,” persisted the little boy sampling a raisin, “the ship might be there now.”
    “Aye, that it might, but most likely it won’t come in ‘till tomorrow at the earliest. Now do, Sonny, run along and play. I can’t take any more trips away from this kitchen. Perhaps Uncle Trevor will take ya out.”
    Sadly Lucas shook his head. “He’s gone.”
    “Then,” she coaxed with a smile, “yer Grandfather might be willing ta take ya oot inta the snow.” The Irish lilt of Crystal’s tongue had never been fully erased.
    Lucas opened his eyes wide with an eager, excited look. “Can I really go out to play?”
    “Tis Christmas Eve day, o’ course ye can go if yer Grandfather is willin’ ta take ya. The snow won’t dirty yer clothes like the mud o’ last Easter.”
    Lucas grinned and, after opening his mouth for his mother to pop in a plump raisin, he trotted off to find Grandfather Uriah.

    Willing to please his young grandson, as well as longing for a sight of his son’s ship on the horizon, Grandfather Uriah agreed to Lucus’s request to go out. The air was cold and the snow crunched under the feet of the two watchers. Nearing the cliffside, they paused.
    “Put me on your shoulders, please Grandpa,” Lucus begged, lifting his arms. “I’m too little to see anything down here.
    Grandfather grinned and soon had the little lad settled on his shoulders. “Can you see now, Sonny?” he asked.
    “I can see most to the other side of the ocean, I think, but I don’t see Papa’s ship.”
    “Well, it might not come in just yet,” Grandfather replied half wishing that his eldest son had not chosen the life of a sailor.
    All was quiet save for the muffled crashing of the water on the cliffs below. Faintly the jingle of sleigh bells in town came to them over the still evening air. The sun was beginning to set.
    “Come, Lucus, you can help me light the lamps so that your papa can see them the first thing.”
    “Oh, yes!” the little boy exclaimed eagerly as he was set down in the snow. “We will light them for Papa tonight, Grandpa.” Gleefully, the fourth generation of Donavans to serve in the Garlandsburg lighthouse set off on his sturdy legs to light the lamps for his Papa. “This will bring him home for Christmas,” Lucas explained as he toiled up and up the winding staircase after his grandfather. “If little candles in windows are for travelers then the big light is for ships to come home for Christmas.” Lucus smiled. He felt sure his papa would come home.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

First Christmas in America - Part 4

Good Morning FFFs,
It's a foggy morning here and chilly. It looks like this will be the 16th day of clouds we've had this month. We've had 2 days of sunshine and a partial day of sun, but all the rest have been cloudy. And we don't live in an area where cloudy days are usual.

I don't know about your week, but mine has been rather crazy. Trying to get a Christmas project done which I couldn't start until this week because I was trying to finish other projects, and having the kids over Tuesday, and then going over to their house yesterday to help them make gingerbread houses and I should mentioned that this project has to be done before tomorrow morning as that's when we're doing Christmas with my brother and his family has made me feel like running away to a secluded cabin in the woods. :) And Sunday evening is the Christmas program at church and we go caroling on Monday evening. And I can't seem to get much writing in because of the craziness. Did I mention that things have been rather crazy? Where is that cabin? . . .

But I don't have time to keep rambling on. :) I hope you enjoy this next part of 

First Christmas in America
Part 4

    The following day started off much the same as the day before, only Papa stayed at home. The cleaning downstairs was finished and Ana was ready to marshal her sisters and Nikolay upstairs when Polina called out, “A car is stopping on the road before our house!”
    There was a race for the windows and five eager faces peered out into the snowy world.
    “Who is it?” Kristina asked.
    “I don’t know, but I wish he would hurry up and get here,” Polina replied.
    Papa too looked from the window. “I think I have seen him in the town.” Turning to the door, Papa opened it.
    The man waved and called out, “Hello! Are you Viktor Ivanski?”
    “Yah, that is me.”
    “I have a telegram for you. It just came in and Mr. Jones said to bring it on out here.” By this time he had reached the porch and handed a yellow envelope to Papa.
    Crowding around the door with her siblings, Klara watched Papa nod and heard him say, “Thank you.” She could see his hands tremble just a little. Who would be sending a telegram? Suddenly her heart seemed to skip a beat. Had something happened to Mama, Yury, Viktor, Lidiya or Sofia? “Please let it be good news,” she prayed silently.
    After the man said a cheery good-bye and hurried back to the road and his car, Papa turned. The message was unopened in his hand. “Come,” he said, “ve must all go back inside vere the fire is."
    “But the telegram, Papa.” Polina’s eyes were on the paper.
    “Hush, Polina,” Ana scolded. “Let Papa open it when he wants to.”
    No one said a word after that but eagerly followed Papa across the room and behind their blanket wall where it was warmer. Carefully Papa opened the envelope and pulled the paper out. In silence he read the message.
    “It must be good news,” Klara thought, “Papa’s eyes are bright now. It must be—“ she didn’t dare finish her sentence even to herself but fairly held her breath as Papa looked up.
    “It is from Uncle Peter. Mama and the others are on their vay, but he doesn't know vhen they vill arrive because of the veather.”
    The room rang with the excited cheers of the children as they clapped their hands and hugged one another. Mama and the others would be home soon! Maybe in time for Christmas! In the midst of her happiness, Klara whispered a prayer of thanksgiving.
    “Mama is coming!!” squealed Kristina, grabbing Marina’s hands and dancing around the room until both girls were out of breath.
    “And Viktor and Yury!” added Nikolay. He missed his two brothers and Klara was sure he felt lost without them.
    After several minutes, Anastasiya interrupted, “If Mama and the others are coming soon, we must finish cleaning this house. It would never do to have Mama come home to a dirty house.”
    To Klara, the day seemed to drag, even though Ana kept everyone hard at work. Her mind often wondered, “Will Mama and the others be home for Christmas?”
    Papa spent many hours that day in the cold basement trying to get the furnace to work, but when supper time came, he sat down with a shake of his head. “I cannot manage it, Ana," he remarked. “I do not understand such things.”
    “Never mind, Papa,” Ana smiled and passed him a bowl of hot soup. “Soon Viktor will be here and perhaps he can help.”
    Klara watched Papa nod. She wondered if her older brother could help fix the furnace. Until it was fixed, the family had to wear coats in most of the house unless they were scrubbing it with hot water. The one area where they slept was kept warm by the fireplace, and the kitchen was warm because of the stove, but everywhere else the cold of the winter day could be felt.
    Everyone was hungry and not much talking was done until the bowls were empty. “Now,” Ana said, “we will wash the dishes quickly and then, Papa, what shall we do?”
    “Let us sing Christmas songs, Papa,” Klara suggested. She knew everyone liked to sing.
    Little Marina, from her seat on her father’s lap, asked, after all had gathered near the open fire, “Can we sing American Christmas songs?”
    “Do you know any, my little one?” Papa asked.
    “Yes, we learned one at Uncle Peter’s.” Everyone waited for Marina to start her song, but she just sat there in silence. At last she shook her head. “I forgot it.”
    Polina knew one and soon the room was filled with carols both from the Old Country and some they had learned from their cousins in the city. At last Papa picked up his Bible and after prayers, the children slipped into their beds whispering about Mama coming soon.

    It was snowing lightly when Klara woke the next morning. Light flakes were drifting down to add another layer to the already white fields. Dressing hurriedly, Klara left her sleeping siblings and tiptoed into the kitchen. Papa was lighting a fire in the stove. “Good morning, Papa,” she whispered.
    Papa looked up and smiled warmly, “Good morning, Klara. You are up vith the sun this morning.”
    Klara nodded. “Papa, tomorrow is Christmas.”
    “Yah, it is."
    “Do trains run on Christmas?”
    Papa sat down on the woodbox and pulled Klara over. “In this country, I do not know. But ve can hope and pray that Mama comes today.”
    Klara nodded. After a minute she leaned against Papa’s shoulder and whispered, “Papa, if Mama and the others come today, we won’t need anything else to make Christmas special, that will be enough.”
    “Always my loving Klara,” Papa murmured.

Who is your favorite character in the story?
Will you be back for the final part next Friday?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'll be Home for Christmas - Part 2

Just wanted to let you know that several of my books (the kindle versions) are on sale today! They will be on sale until Mid-Night Christmas morning. (That’s for all those very last minute shoppers.) However, the price will be going up nearly every day, so you might want to take advantage of the first days. The books on sale will be:

Triple Creek Ranch - Unbroken (Book 1)
Triple Creek Ranch - Home at Last (Book 2)
Triple Creek Ranch - Rustlers (Book 3)

The Unexpected Request


Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories
(If you enjoy listening to stories on audio, this book will be available on audio hopefully around the first of the year.)

    My other books (except my first book) are also on kindle, but not on sale. I would have put Triple Creek Ranch - Stephen (Book 4) on sale, but I can’t do that now because of when it was published.

And please, feel free to share this info with anyone you would like to! And if you enjoy any of my books and haven’t left a review, I’d really love to have one or more from you on Amazon! 

If you are wanting “The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers” but not before Christmas, there is going to be a FREE promotion of that book starting the day after Christmas!

And here is the last of this short Christmas story. Enjoy!

I'll be Home for Christmas
Part 2

    Christmas Eve arrived and the hospital ward was decorated by the nurses. Mike watched it all, heard the laughing and teasing of some of the fellows, but said not a word. When Nurse Polly came by and stopped to talk with him, he only managed to give the briefest of answers. All he could think of were the words of that song, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” No, he wasn’t going to be home for Christmas. If he’d gotten wounded earlier, maybe he could have gotten leave to go home for Christmas, but not now.
    It was mid-morning when the doctor stopped by Mike’s bed. “Are you feeling up for a visitor, Corporal?” he asked with a smile.
    Mike looked up questioningly. “A visitor?” he echoed. “I don’t know anyone on the islands, sir, so I don’t—"
    He didn’t finish for a new voice broke in. “Who says you don’t?”
    Startled, Mike struggled to sit up as a tall man with a quick and easy stride crossed the room to his bedside. He wore the uniform of an Air Force pilot and Mike blinked. “George?” His voice was low and charged with emotion. “George!”
    “Yep, little brother, it’s me.” And George sat down on the edge of the bed, gently eased Mike back onto the pillow and then gripped his hand.
    For several minutes, neither brother could say a word. Each was struggling to hold in their emotions, for they hadn’t seen each other in eighteen months.
    “Have you been home?” Mike whispered.
    George shook his head. “No, I was stationed here only two weeks ago and got a letter from Mom saying you had been wounded. She didn’t know where you were, but I did a little checking, and I found you today.”
    Sighing, Mike tightened his grip on his brother’s hand and asked, “How long . . . I mean, will you be here . . .” His voice trailed away.
    “I’ll be here tomorrow,” George reassured, reading the unfinished question in his brother’s hungry eyes. “I already got leave. Can’t spend all day here, but first thing in the morning and then I’ll be back in the evening.”
    Wearily Mike closed his eyes. His brother was there. Everything was going to be all right. George would be with him for Christmas.
    A voice from the next bed spoke into the silence. “I say, Mike, you’re one lucky guy. I’d give anything to see one of my brothers this Christmas.”
    Mike opened his eyes and turned his head. “George, that’s Dick. He was fighting in the unit next to mine. We both ended up in the field hospital on the same day.”
    A smile flashed over George’s suntanned face, and he held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Dick. Where are your brothers?”
    “Over in Europe. One drives a tank and the other is a paratrooper. I never could see why Andy likes jumping out of an airplane . . .”
    The rest of the talk became mixed up in Mike’s brain as he dozed off. The intense homesickness he had felt had faded away at the sight of his brother’s face, the sound of his voice and the feel of his strong hand on his own. Let Christmas come. “I’ll be home in my dreams, Mom,” he thought, before falling into the first real refreshing sleep he had had since his injuries.

    Christmas morning dawned bright and sunny. “No, snow,” Dick muttered, trying to glare out the window, but Mike could see the twinkle in his blue eyes. “What’s a Christmas with no snow?”
    “A warm one,” someone across the room retorted. “Me, I never had snow on Christmas where I’m from.” That brought forth much talk of Christmases across the country.
    Mike, feeling more cheerful than he had, joined in the conversation a little and when the breakfast trays were wheeled in, he realized he was hungry.
    A little while later George arrived with a box. “Mom sent me a Christmas box, and since she couldn’t send you one before Christmas, I thought we’d share. Want a cookie?”
    Nodding, Mike asked, “Is there a letter? I haven’t had a letter from home for a long time.”
    As George sat down on the edge of the bed, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a well worn letter. “Sure. Here, you can read mine. I wired Mom and Dad yesterday after I knew where you were. I expect you’ll be getting a flood of letters soon. Had you heard Sis was singing in the local canteen?”
    Mike gave no answer, for he was already devouring the letter written in his mother’s familiar hand.
    When George had to leave, he did so with a promise to return that evening. “I’ll stay here while the others go hear those singers. The Major said you’d be the only one in this ward who couldn’t go. So we’ll have a nice long chat then.”
    “Thanks, George.”

    The men had been gone for some time, and only George and Mike were in the room. The lights were low and the brothers fell silent. They had talked about home and Christmases past, but the distant strains of music drifting down the hall had finally stopped all talk. Mike was content to just lie in bed and look at his brother’s face.
    A nurse came by and, unnoticed by either man, switched on the radio. A sweet, clear voice came from the small set.
“I’ll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me.”

    Mike gave a gasp and gripped George’s hand. That voice, it—he looked at his brother’s face. “George, is—"
    With a motion, George cut off the sentence and listened. The voice went on singing those tender words that brought the folks at home into clear focus for many a lonely G.I. away from home.
“I’ll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams.
If only in my dreams.”

    The sound of applause was heard and then the voice spoke. “That song was sung for my brothers, George, who is a pilot in the Air Force, and Mike, who was serving in the Pacific with the Army until he was wounded. I hope you both were listening. We miss you, but we know you are both home in your dreams. Merry Christmas, George! Merry Christmas, Mike!”
    Lying in his hospital bed, Mike couldn’t keep back the tears. The sound of his sister’s voice and her words coming over the radio was almost like having her in the room with them. “George,” he whispered, as another song was begun by a different voice, “did you know?”
    Wordlessly George nodded. He too had been moved.
    “This is a Christmas I’ll never forget.” Mike squeezed his brother’s hand and closed his eyes.


    “And I never did forget that Christmas.” Silence fell over the living room as Grandpa’s husky voice finished talking. Billy glanced around the room. His aunts and mom were wiping away tears and even his uncles and some cousins were blinking. In fact, not many eyes were dry. Turning to look at the old picture of Grandpa in his army uniform which stood on the shelf, Billy wondered how many servicemen spending their first Christmas away from home had sung that song and how many were even now reliving those Christmases away from loved ones at home.

Well, what did you think?
Did you like this story?
Did you share the info about the book sales with anyone?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'll be Home for Christmas - Part 1

I wasn't sure if I'd actually get this story written. I had started it and then sort of ran out of inspiration for it. But a few weeks later I happened upon it again on NEO. That evening I was planning on writing something else, but after re-reading it, well, I just started writing and here it is. I hope you enjoy this short story.

I'll be Home for Christmas
Part 1

    Billy flipped the radio on in the living room where the family was gathered. It was Christmas Eve and everyone was there. Mom and Dad, Billy’s brother Tom, and his sisters, Patty and Julia. Uncle Bob and Aunt Jane had arrived earlier in the day with their children and even Uncle Joe had made it this year from California. Of course, Grandma and Grandpa were there. They were always there for Christmas.
    “I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me,” the voice on the radio sang. “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
    “Dad, are you all right?” Uncle Joe leaned forward in his chair to place a hand on Grandpa’s arm.
    Grandpa nodded, but his face wore a strange expression. When the song on the radio finished, he cleared his throat and said huskily, “That song brings back a Christmas I’ll never forget.”
    The grandchildren eagerly gathered around on the floor while the adults drew their chairs nearer and the radio was turned down. Grandpa was going to tell a story.


    Mike couldn’t quite keep back the groan which rose as he was carefully lifted from his bed onto a stretcher. “Where’m I going?” he mumbled, feeling almost too sick to care. He had never been much for boat rides.
    “A real hospital, Corporal” the orderly replied. “Not a floating one either.” He said something to a soldier, and Mike’s stretcher was lifted gently.
    Mike wanted to ask where the hospital was, but the motion of the stretcher combined with the sharp, intense pain made him black out, and he knew nothing until some time later.

    The murmur of voices seemed to grow louder and then fade away as Mike slowly regained consciousness. The constant motion of the ship had changed and everything was blessedly still. “I wonder where I am,” he muttered, opening his eyes just a little to see a white ceiling and white walls. His eyes closed. “Everything is always white now.” Trying to shift his position on the bed, a sharp pain shot up his leg, and he gasped.
    “Easy, there,” a pleasant voice said, and a gentle hand was placed on his shoulder. “Don’t try to move just yet,”
    Mike forced his eyes open to see a young, dark haired nurse at his bedside. “Hello.”
    The nurse’s quick smile brought two dimples into her cheeks. “Hello,” she replied. “I’m Polly Miller. How are you feeling today, Corporal?” Her fingers rested with a soft touch on his wrist.
    There was no reply, for Mike’s eyes were roving over the large room. Every bed was full and many were unfamiliar faces. A large window caught his attention, and he stared out at the bright blue sky. “I say, where am I?”
    “At the base hospital in Hawaii.”
    “Hawaii?” he repeated, his voice puzzled as he stared at the nurse. His brows furrowed and he tried to concentrate. What was it that he had wished to do or see if he ever got transferred to the islands? Or was it someone he wanted to see? Wearily he turned his face towards the window and lifted a heavy hand to his aching head. Perhaps he could think tomorrow. It was too much trouble now, and he was tired.
    The light from the window became blocked as someone wearing a white jacket stepped beside the bed. Mike’s eyes traveled upward slowly, pausing to notice the insignia of a major in the medical corp before reaching the man’s face. It was a kind face, but Mike was too weary to notice anything else. He heard a question being asked, and thought he might have mumbled a reply but wasn’t sure. Feeling only half awake, he felt a cool hand touching his aching head and heard another question, but sleep overcame him before he could answer.

    When he next awoke, all was dim in the room, dim and quiet. His head didn’t ache as much as it had before, and he relaxed. “I wonder what day it is,” he mused, turning his head and looking for the window he had seen earlier. It was covered up. “Blackout, I reckon.” Mike gave a sigh. He wanted a drink but it was too much trouble to lift his head.
    Soft footsteps halted beside his bed. “Would you like a drink?” a quiet voice asked.
    Mike opened his eyes. It was a different nurse than he had seen earlier, but she was holding a glass of water. He reached out to take the glass, but his hand shook.
    “Let me help you,” the nurse said, deftly slipping an arm under his head and holding the glass steady. “That’s it. Don’t drink too fast. Are you done?” She eased Mike’s head back onto the pillow and set the glass down. “Do you need anything else?”
    “No, thank you,” Mike whispered. Perhaps tomorrow he would feel like asking more questions.

    The babble of voices in the hospital ward was constant. All around the room men were talking about their families, what they would be doing this year for Christmas and how they wished they could be with them. Only a few were silent. Mike lay listening with eyes half closed. How he wished he was going to be home for Christmas. A new Christmas song had been played for the men earlier and some of the words still echoed in Mike’s head.
    “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
    Restlessly he turned his head. He’d never been away from home for Christmas before. Even when he was in college, nothing could keep him from reaching home.
    “I figured the war would be over before Christmas an’ I’d be back home,” the young man in the bed next to Mike, remarked.
    Mike nodded. “I did too. It’s not going to be easy on my mom. Last year my older brother, George, was gone. I wonder if he’s home this year.”
    “No, Air Force. I don’t know where he is. Haven’t heard from him in months.” He shifted in his bed and frowned as pain from his injured legs shot through him. “You’d think I could’ve broken my left arm instead of my right.” He glared at the arm encased in bandages and resting in a sling. “I can’t even write Mom, Dad and Sis! I guess I’ll have to dream about Christmas with the folks. There’s no way the doctors are going to let me leave.”
    “Yeah, me either. But say, I heard some talk about a group comin’ to sing for us on Christmas.”
    Mike grunted. “Yeah, they’ll sing for the men who can go listen to them. Me, I can’t even get out of bed.”
    “Man, you’re blue today,” Dick remarked. “And tomorrow is Christmas Eve.”
    There was no answer. Mike didn’t feel like replying. All he wanted was to see the familiar faces of his family; he wanted to go home! When he closed his eyes he could picture his mom standing before the stove taking a pan of cookies from the oven, her hair loose and with a dusting of flour in it and on her face. Mom always managed to get flour on herself when she was baking cookies. Dad would be bringing in logs for the fire and Sissy would be coming in from her job, her eyes sparkling and a merry laugh ready to bubble out. Perhaps George was there. If so, he and Dad would soon have a game of checkers going.
    Quickly Mike opened his eyes. If he didn’t, he knew he’d start to cry and what would the others think of him then. Oh, just to see one familiar face from back home!

Part 2 will be up tomorrow.
Let me know if you like it so far.

Monday, December 15, 2014

12 Missing Days of Christmas

Well, I had great plans for posting several times each week, but as you may have noticed, that really hasn't happened. I looked at the calender and noticed a strange thing. It said it was the 15th of December, but I was sure it was only the 3rd or 4th! What happened to my month? Usually I have pictures for you all and stories and all kinds of things, but . . . well . . . I don't know what happened. But I know things are missing.

The 12 Missing Days of Christmas

  • On the 1st Missing Day, you should have had pictures of decorations.
  • On the 2nd Missing Day, you should have had a post of Christmas cheer.
  • On the 3rd Missing Day, you should have had Part 1 of a sweet Christmas story.
  • On the 4th Missing Day, you should have had a post of Christmas treats!
  • On the 5th Missing Day, you should have had a Christmas book review.
  • On the 6th Missing Day, you should have had Part 2 of a sweet Christmas story.
  • On the 7th Missing Day, you should have had a glimpse of Garlandsburg.
  • On the 8th Missing Day, you should have had a favorite Christmas tune.
  • On the 9th Missing Day, you should have had Part 3 of a sweet Christmas story.
  • On the 10th Missing Day, you should have had more Christmas decorations.
  • On the 11th Missing Day, you should have had a Tour of Garlandsburg.
  • On the 12 Missing Day, you should have had some other Christmas delight.
Would you rather have a two part story all this week?
Or split between this week and next?

Friday, December 12, 2014

First Christmas in America - Part 3

Hello Friday Fiction Fans,
It's another cloudy day here. I'm longing for a few days of sunshine. Any of you readers have some to share? It's been cloudy for quite a while and is supposed to continue. And we don't even have any snow to make it better. Oh, well. :)
This has been a crazy week! And I have much I need to do!

Last Friday evening I went to a Christmas party at my best friend's house. Then came home and helped babysit the kiddos who were over.
Saturday I finally finished the quilt I was working on and put the quilt frame away.
On Sunday I had music practice at church before Sunday School, then we had my brother and his family over for lunch since it was Dad's birthday. We ate chilly, made cookies (and decorated them), decorated more of the house, and enjoyed the afternoon.
Monday came and I finished the decorating, practiced the violin, and worked on other things.
Then came Tuesday. I left the house about 1:30, drove to the home of my Heart-Sister and from there we headed up to my grandparents' house. After a delicious supper we headed out to see the lights of the Plaza
before going to a candle-light concert. Imagine being in an old church up in the balcony. The lights are off except for a few very dim ones so you aren't in pitch darkness. Down below in the front of the church are over a hundred flickering candles. On either side of the front is a tree lit only by white lights and decorated with white bows. On either side of the sanctuary, are five colonial style windows and each has a lit candle nestled in a bed of greenery. Wreaths lit by white lights hang between each window. The room is hushed. Up in front sits the Chamber Orchestra lights on their music stands ready to play. The conductor lifts his hands and the strains of lovely music all by Bach fill the church. It was a lovely evening.
Wednesday went by so quickly, that it feels like I must have missed it. My heart-sister and I went out to help Grandma with the Christmas Bureau. We spent the morning taking "shoppers" around. These are all people who need help with food and Christmas things for various reasons. In the afternoon I assisted in the back with checking applications while H-S worked up front with the computers. It was so much fun! We ate supper with Grandma & Grandpa and then drove back to H-S's house.
Thursday I went and visited another Heart-Sister and her 3 month old baby who I hadn't seen before. We had a lovely visit before I drove home. Spent the rest of the day trying to catch up and working on TCR-4. :)

I don't think I'm going to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs wishing for things to do. I have plenty to keep me busy! There's writing, cleaning, working on Christmas presents, replying to e-mails, and I won't bore you with the rest of my long list. :)

I hope you enjoy this next part of the story. I will try to get more posts up next week. 

First Christmas in America
Part 3

    Hearing a soft stirring, Klara turned her head. Papa was sitting by the fire, his head in his hands. For some time she lay there watching him. Was he sleeping, or was he too, thinking of Mama and the others? Just when she had decide he must be asleep, Papa lifted his head and sighed.
    “Papa,” she breathed.
    Papa turned his head. “Yah, my Klara.”
    Slipping from the blankets, taking care to let in as little cold air as possible, Klara crept over to Papa and was soon nestled in his lap with his strong, warm arms around her.
    “Why are you avake, Daughter?” he asked softly.
    “I don’t know. It was so quiet, and then I wondered what Mama was doing. I miss her, Papa.” She swallowed hard. “I wish the others could have come with us.”
    For several minutes Papa didn’t speak, then hugging her closer, he whispered, “I miss Mama too, Klara. And I know she misses all of us.”
    “Do you think Mama and the others will be here by Christmas?” Klara looked up. The low flames of the firelight flickered on Papa’s face.
    “I don’t know. I pray it may be so, but Christmas is very soon . . .” His voice died out for several minutes. The pressing a kiss on Klara’s golden hair he whispered, “You should be asleep, my Klara, else you vill be too tired to clean in the morning.” He kissed her upturned face, and she scurried off to crawl under the blanket next to Kristina.

    When Klara next awoke, the faint light of early dawn tinged the room with a rosy glow. She could hear the low voices of Papa and Anastasiya talking.
    “It is only what we really need, Papa,” Ana was saying. “We have some food, but not enough for more than today. Beds and curtains can wait.”
    “It does not seem like much, Ana, but I have very little money. I vill get vhat I can. After Christmas, vhen I have my job ve vill buy more things.”
    “Of course, Papa. We can wait.”
    There was a moment of silence and then Papa spoke again. “I hope Mama and the others can make it here. I did not have much money to give them.”
    “Mama is good with money, Papa. Besides,” Ana reassured, “Viktor is with them. He has a good head for money.”
    “Yah,” Papa sighed. “I vill vorry no longer.”

    The sun sparkling on the snow woke the younger children later in the morning and everyone scrambled from their hard beds eager to start the new day.
    “Who needs lamps or candles with such sunlight as this?” Polina exclaimed. “I want to see the whole house in the light.”
    “Not until breakfast is over and the beds have been folded,” Ana directed. “Then you may have a little time to see the house before we begin to clean.”
    “I wish it were clean already!”
    “My impatient Polina,” Papa chuckled with a shake of his head. “I fear the cleaning won’t do itself.”
    Running over to him, Polina flung her arms around his neck. “I won’t complain, Papa,” she promised. “I only wish things would happen now so I didn’t have to wait for them.”
    “Well, your breakfast won’t wait for you,” Ana called. “If you don’t want it, I will give it to the others.”
    Klara watched Polina fly to get her breakfast. She could understand her sister's impatience some times, but Klara was looking forward to cleaning their new house. It would be a lot of hard work, but the Ivanski children were used to that. And it would be fun to see all the house coming clean. “And after it’s clean, it will be ready for Mama!” Klara’s thoughts brought a smile to her face.
    It wasn’t long before the simple meal was over and water was heating before the fire. Papa had taken Ana’s list of badly needed items and set out for town. It would be a long walk, but Klara knew Papa had often walked many miles in the Old Country in the bitter cold and snow.
    “Now come,” Ana directed, “we will take a look at the house and then we must clean.”

    The day passed rapidly in the newly inhabited house. The nearest neighbor was a good mile away and no one knew the Ivanski family had moved in, so no one came to call and interrupt the work of cleaning. By the time Papa arrived back laden with supplies, nearly all the downstairs rooms were sparkling.
    Looking around in approval, Papa nodded his head. “You have done vell, my children. Mama vould be pleased to see such clean rooms.”
    “Papa,” Kristina asked, “when is Mama coming home? Are she and the others going to be here for Christmas? When will Christmas be here, Papa?”
    “I do not know when Mama and the others will come, my inquisitive one. But I do know that Christmas will be here after two days.”
    Marina and Nikolay shouted with joy at that news, but though Papa smiled, Klara saw his eyes weren’t happy. “What can be wrong?” she thought, turning to answer Ana’s call. “Could it be Papa thinks Mama and the others won’t be here for Christmas? We will all pray they come. God answers prayers, I know He does. He let us leave the Old Country and kept this house from being filled when we were delayed. I’m sure Mama and the others will be here.”
    Supper that night was cooked on the stove though the family still sat on the floor. Papa put a string across the front room from which Ana hung a few blankets. This kept the warmth of the fire from escaping in the large room. That evening, by the light of the fire, Papa read some verses from his old Bible. and the family prayed together before they crept into their makeshift beds and fell almost instantly asleep.

What do you think will happen?
Are you enjoying this story?
Will you be back?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Winner Is . . .

This morning I collected all the entries for the giveaway and took them downstairs. My dad picked one of the small, folded pieces of paper and opened it. I had written the names rather small because the paper pieces were rather small, so he had to wait until he got his glasses to read the name. That meant that I had to wait to learn the winner of "Narrow Escape."

But was have a winner and this winner is . . . 


Congratulations, Christianna. I hope you and your family enjoys this story as much as I and my family have. If you'll send me your address via the "contact author" form on the side  bar, I'll get this DVD out right away.

Thank you all for participating. I'm hoping to do another giveaway some time in the future. :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

First Christmas in America - Part 2

Happy Friday FFFs,
I hope you've been doing a few "Christmasy" things this week. I know I have. I've worked a lot on decorating. Since I'm pretty much the only one doing it, it takes a while. Especially since I still am trying to finish hand quilting a small quilt for someone, trying to write a few Christmas stories, practicing the violin for our church's Christmas program, proof listening to my audio of "Pirates,"  and babysitting the kiddos, plus all the usual things, like reading Christmas stories, it takes a while. :) But much of it is done.

I got my proof copy of TCR-4 this week! It looks really nice. Now it has to be read and checked, corrections made and then a new file uploaded and the book can be approved. I'm still hoping it will be out by Christmas though I don't know if I'll have my first order. The last order I placed took almost two weeks just to be shipped out!
And about the audio, I'm hoping that I'll be able to tell you next week that it is ready for purchase and listening to. :) This would make a great Christmas gift to younger siblings, or even yourself if you are life me and like to listen to many things. :)

If you haven't entered the giveaway here on my blog, you still have time. Just keep reading past this post. :) The movie I'm giving away is not a "Christian" movie and there is one scene with some drinking of whiskey and playing poker, but it is so mild with no drunken brawl or anything that I didn't even think about it until my mom asked if I had mentioned it. I don't think it'll be a problem but you might want to watch it with only older ones first to see if it's something younger ones in your family can watch. Each family has a different standard. What might be perfectly fine for one, may be banned in another. However, we are rather picky when it comes to movies.

So, I'm writing my 3rd Christmas story. We'll see how long it is. I was going to try to get a short one written so you could enjoy two stories this year, but so far they've been too long to give you a double. We'll see about this one. :)
And now I hope you will enjoy this next part of: 

First Christmas in America
Part 2

    “Klara,” Polina called.
    Starting, Klara nearly ran the rest of the way to the front of the house where the others were waiting.
    “Ah, my Klara who vants to see and hear everything,” Papa teased. “Does she not vish to see the inside of this house?”
    “Oh yes, Papa!”
    From his pocket, Papa pulled out the key he had received in town and unlocked the door. The hinges creaked as it swung slowly open. The room they entered ran the width of the house. There was no furniture, no fire and no wood stacked up to make a fire. The sound of their footsteps on the bare wood floors was loud and Kristina shivered, clinging to Polina’s hand.
    “Let’s see all of the house, Papa,” Polina whispered. Somehow it seemed wrong to speak loudly in that still room.
    “Shouldn’t we start a fire first, Papa, so as to take the chill off the room?” Anastasiya had set down her load and pulled Marina’s thin coat closer about her.
    “Always the practical von, mine Ana,” Papa said, fondly. “Yes, ve must start a fire right away. Then, Polina, mine impatient von, ve shall see the rest of the house.” Quickly he disappeared into a farther room.
    Klara was as eager to see what the other rooms held in store for them as her ten-year-old sister, but she was also cold. She wrapped her arms around her younger brother and waited. Did Papa know where to find wood? He must have, for soon he had reappeared and before long a bright blaze was burning in the large fireplace.
    “There is a woodshed right off the kitchen door, children, and it is full of vood. The man who sold the house told me so vhen I got the key,” he explained as the family stood around warming their cold hands.
    “That is good,” Polina nodded. “Now may we see the rest of the house?”
    With a laugh, Papa agreed and led the way from room to room. Everything was bare and empty, and their voices and steps echoed strangely, but the girls had fun talking about what they would put in each room, until they at last came back down the stairs and returned to the front room. To them the rooms weren’t small, and Nikolay said he might get lost. The fire had taken some of the chill off the front room though it was still plenty cold.
    “The man said there is a furnace down in the basement, Papa remarked. “But ve vill vait until morning to start it.” Klara thought he looked a little unsure and wondered if Papa knew how to make the furnace work. “And ve have no electricity.”
    “That will not matter, Papa,” Klara told him. “We didn’t have any in the Old Country.” She smiled.
    “True, my Klara. Ve vill not find things to complain.” It was then that Papa looked around as though he were lost. “He is missing Mama,” Klara thought, feeling a lump rise in her own throat at the thought. “I wish she and Victor, Lidiya, Yury and Sofia were here too.”
    But Ana was there. In no time at all she had a pail of water heating before the fire and her coat off. “Papa, where are the soap and the brushes you bought in town?”
    “But we are not going to clean tonight, Ana!” Klara, Kristina and Polina exclaimed simultaneously.
    “Only part of the room. This floor is too dirty. We must have a clean place to sleep on tonight. Tomorrow, when there is more light, we shall clean the rest of the house. Come now, girls, roll up your sleeves and let us get to work.”
    There was nothing Klara wanted to do less at that moment than scrub the floor of their new house, but she knew it was useless to argue. At that moment she glanced up and saw the relieved look come over Papa’s face. “Poor Papa,” she thought, “he needs someone like Ana to fill Mama’s place while she is away.” Feeling happier about her task because she knew it would make Papa feel better, she began to scrub and soon broke into a Christmas song from the Old Country. Her sisters quickly joined in the singing and even Nikolay, who was helping Papa bring in more wood, warbled away in his own off-key fashion.
    “There!” Anastasiya exclaimed at last, sitting back on her heels and eyeing the newly scrubbed floor. “That will be enough for today. Polina, go empty the pail. Klara, set the scrub brushes in the kitchen to dry. Kristina and Marina, help me fetch our bundles to the clean side of the room. Then we shall get supper.”
    That first meal was cooked over the fire and eaten while the family sat on the floor, but the Ivanskis were used to that from the ship coming over to America. But now they were not crowded and it was clean. Papa shook his head over the request to light a lamp or a candle. “No, ve must vait. All are tired and vhen supper is over, ve must go to bed. Tomorrow will bring much work.” He didn’t add that they had no candle or lamp, but Klara knew. She had helped Kristina unpack their bundles before they ate.
    There were not enough blankets to keep really warm, so the children used their coats and lay close together. The long trip and the excitement of their new house had made everyone tired, and it wasn’t long before they were all sleeping.

    Sometime during the night, Klara woke up. It was so strange and quiet. Not at all like the big city where Uncle Peter and Aunt Anna lived. There seemed to be constant noise there. Nor was it like the ship coming over. She thought of the long train ride they had from the city and of the long delay because the tracks were blocked by snow. But now they were home. But what about Mama and the others? It was almost Christmas and suppose they too should become stuck in the snow? Suppose Lidiya and Yury weren’t well enough to travel until after Christmas? They should have all stayed behind and waited. “But Papa has to start his job,” she reminded herself. “And he wanted to be settled before Christmas.”

What would you have been thinking if you were one of the Ivanski children?
What would it be like to move to a different country?
How would you feel moving into such a house?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Good Afternoon Dear Readers,
And Happy 2nd of December!

I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to believe it is this late in the year already! Surely some days must be hiding in a closet or under a bed or perhaps under a rug, which haven't been used. But if they are, they must be at your house and not mine. :)

Since this is the first "Christmas Post" I thought should do something fun. And what could be more fun that a giveaway? (Okay, reading a good book might qualify as more fun.) This giveaway is for a copy of:

"1,000 Men and a Baby"
now on DVD under the title "Narrow Escape."

As some of you may remember, this is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and I'm delighted to be able to pass it on to one of you! It is a used copy, but works just fine. We tried it out on Sunday. :)

This story, a true one, takes place aboard the USS navel ship Point Cruz at the end of the Korean war. A baby, half American, half Korean is found in an army depot and taken to an orphanage. Because "Danny" (the baby) is part American, the Korean nurses won't care for him. Through the intervention of the Point Cruz's Chaplin and a reluctant Dr. Keenan (played by Richard Thomas of Walton fame), Danny is given medical treatment on board the Point Cruz. The thousand men on board take Danny to their hearts and want to take him back to America where he can have a home. However troubles arise. Danny needs a passport and the Korean official won't issue one, he can't get an American visa to enter the US and if that weren't enough, a message comes through from the Admiral saying to get Danny off the ship and turn him over to the Korean authorities. What will happen to little Danny? Will his "thousand uncles" be able to come up with a way to save him? This story is wonderful! There are tense moments, tender moments and some to chuckle over.

(I will give a disclaimer: There are a few very brief, hardly noticed swear words. At least I have been told there are. I get so caught up in the story that I still haven't noticed, and I almost always do.)

The other thing you should know is that this movie can be very addicting!!

There is a chance for each blog reader to have two entries into this giveaway.

#1. Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me the name you used.

#2. Leave a comment on my blog telling me one of your favorite short stories on this blog and why you like it or what your favorite part of it is.

This giveaway ends on Sunday night and all comments (deep, spectral voice here) must be in by the stroke of mid-night! (Normal voice again.) Or at least before I turn on my computer Monday morning. :) Yes, this giveaway is open to all my readers in North America, both U.S. and Canada. :)

Have fun!