Friday, December 14, 2012

Purrfectly Giftastic Christmas Blog Hop

Hi, I'm Tali, and make no mistake about it, Christmas is my favorite season. I love Christmas music. I love Christmas cookies. I love decorating and hosting parties. And I love giving gifts! So I joined the Purrfectly Giftastic Christmas Blog Hop because it’s all about giving.

From now until midnight on Monday, December 17th I will be taking names and checking lists. And what am I giving away? Not just copies of my books—though I’ll be handing those around—but a couple of gift cards, too.

So what are the prizes?
  1. A $10 Amazon gift card.
  2. A free book of your choice from my backlist
  3. A free book of your choice from my backlist
  4. A free book of your choice from my backlist

And if you are a follower of my blog or would be so kind as to follow my blog, you will be eligible to win my special “Extra Nice” prize:

  • A $20 Amazon gift card

How do you enter? 

~ Leave a comment on this post. Tell me a holiday memory (if you don’t celebrate this one, choose a holiday you love).

~ Include your email. I need the email so I can notify you if you win.

~ Comment on any other posts I put up here on this blog between now and the end of the contest at midnight Monday. Every comment (one per post, please) means another chance to win. 

My loving poodle and I will draw winners at random on Tuesday morning. It’s that easy!

And to start things off, here’s what I love about this holiday season:

I was reared a Christian, so Christmas is what I celebrate. For me the holiday has always been about giving. I truly believe that the more a person gives, the more they will receive. My childhood was magical because of giving.

My memories don’t consist of what I unwrapped or what I found under the tree on Christmas morning—though a particular doll does hold a special place—they sparkle with the magic of that morning, which my parents created with so much love and effort, and with frosty nights of caroling to neighbors who returned hot chocolate and laughter, and with always buying one or more extra gifts so each of us could give to the less fortunate. There was a time when we were those less fortunate people, and the only gifts we had were those given by strangers.

Christmas is a century-old fruitcake sneakily foisted from one family onto another.

Christmas is cookies prepared with love and shared with neighbors and friends.

Christmas is driving or flying cross-country or from another continent to be with each other.

Christmas is plotting the perfect gift. The perfect way to say “You’re important to me.”

So, dear blog followers—and visitors, too—you are important to me. I can’t afford to give a gift to every one of you, but I'm thrilled to be taking part in this hop so I can give back. And please take a moment to check out all the other authors who are taking part HERE.

Merry Christmas!


  1. My fondest memory is of three years ago, when my twin boys were a year and a half old. One slept through the gift giving (we open them on Christmas Eve) while the other was wide awake after a nap, but instead of opening the presents, he just wanted to stand on them. Of course, all the gift unwrapping memories of my boys are wonderful. Once theirs are done, the dutifully help everyone else unwrap theirs. They're just the cutest.

    I am a follower of your blog :)

    Erica Pike (fellow m/m author)
    eripike at gmail dot com

  2. My favorite Christmas memory is the one when parents finally noticed that I didn't like dolls. They got me a set of Mr. Sketch scented markers instead , along with a toy blender that actually worked, and other non doll goodies! I was thrilled! Thank you!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  3. I was raised christian and christmas is what i celebrate. I hate crowds and I hate town its just not my thing but I do love my family. It christmas eve and I was in "town" trying to get my family's gifts I had only just gotten paid. It was crazy and then I saw the attendant and my heart went nuts Hot does not even begin to describe this attendant. I was at the counter and I was paying for the gifts for my mum and brother. The attendant said "Merry Christmas Beautiful" and gave me a sweet smile first time I've ever been called beautiful by a stranger it made me feel beautiful.

    bajandream_angel at yahoo dot com

  4. I love Christmas and this year it looks promising that we might have snow! We hadn't had a white Christmas in years and it's something that I miss from my childhood.

    PS.:Is that your poodle?

    I'm following the blog :)


    moonsurfer123 at gmail dot com

  5. I remember being a little confused at the holidays. We were Jewish, but my parents dressed up as Santa Claus and we had a Christmas tree! Back then, Chanukah wasn't much of a holiday. When we had children, we decorated for Chanukah. We had au pairs who celebrated Christmas, though, so our children got a taste of Christmas (although no tree or dressing up!).


  6. I don't really have any favorite holiday memories. Just getting to spend time with my parents is always nice.

    Thanks for doing the hop!

  7. thank you for the awesome blog hop and wonderful giveaway

  8. My favorite holiday memory is going to my grandpa's farm at Christmas. It was almost 3hrs away so a long drive. I got to see all my aunts, uncles, & cousins. We would go visit everyone. And my aunts could cook and bake. Yummy. Thank you for the giveaway.
    Sue B

  9. My best memory would have to be going on right now. My four year old and two year old are so excited about Christmas and Santa. It make my heart so full of happiness that I don't know what to do with myself. They both are.. awestruck at all the Christmas lights and trees that it makes me feel like a kid again!

    -- Whitney

  10. A favorite memory would be growing up and having three different pies for dessert: pumpkin, custard and apple. They were not homemade, but baked frozen pies. For whatever reason, the holidays were the only time that my family baked the pies.
    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  11. Love Christmas with family.

  12. Oooh...that's a good question...I'm not sure that I have a "fondest" I have pretty fond memories of all my Christmas holidays, but the one that sticks out in my head was from my first year in Utah (that's where I went to school). I wasn't going to be able to fly home for Christmas so my mom and sister flew to me. We spent the holiday in my tiny apartment with my tiny Christmas was lovely.


  13. Hey I celebrate Hanukkah. I love to get into the holiday spirit

    yinyang1062 at yahoo dot com

  14. Favorite holiday memory? Christmas services at The Vatican. (I may be Jewish, but Pope John Paul was an amazing man.)

    I followed you on Twitter and here.

    mslasha at gmail dot com

  15. The memory I have most is the one where my husband proposed to me on Christmas Day because he knew I loved Christmas :)


    1. Oops forgot to say that I'm following your blog by email.

  16. I was just thinking about this yesterday. I was about 7 when my older cousins took me upstairs at my greatgrandmother's house and showed me the Santa beard and coat stored in the window seat. They then so kindly explained that Uncle Clarence was the one to wear them. Wretched children! Not a favorite memory but one I had been thinking about.
    Follow by email

  17. Following blog~
    and my fav. memory is one time when my dad put up the tree and it was all ready and everything and then.. well... i'm not quite sure what happened exactly but next thing we know the damn tree trunk cracks... and then it ends up being tilted to one side. haha... my mom was like, no! don't touch it it'll break and fall! so every time my dad would walk in the house from work he'd glare at the tree and walk away shaking his head at it. lol... oohh~ the good times. lol..

    thanks again for the giveaway + hop!


  18. Ack. You would want me to attempt the near-impossible feat of retrieving memories. -.-

    Let's see.... The Christmas I remember most was when I was 10. My dad had taken me to get something for my mom. (I lived with him and his parents. My mom lived in an apartment with her sister.) I picked this medium-sized white teddy bear for her. He has a blue bowtie around his neck. I remember being all excited about getting him, because I'd bought him myself, with my own money. Allowence is great for kids. :)

    Anyway, come Christmas afternoon, I went to my mom's apartment, and it turns out she had gotten me a white teddy bear, too. Although he was bigger (pillow-size) and his bowtie was red.

    14 years later, we both still have our bears. :) She named hers Lou, after me. (One of my nicknames at the time was Cindy Lou Who), and mine became Big Bear (very unoriginal, I know).

    I'm already following your blog. :)


  19. Hi, Tali! Is that a pic your poodle? I love standards (tried to talk hubby into one, but he has this thing against poodles because he's never met a standard; I'm not even sure he's even met a smaller poodle).

    Have a great holiday,

    1. Hi Helen! Yes, I have a big old standard poodle named Cate. My husband had to talk me into one, because I had a thing against poodles! I thought of them as small yappy dogs and I grew up a family where the dogs are all hunting and herding breeds. Big dogs. So I wanted a dog and my husband said, "Let's get a poodle! Poodles are great!" Well, he grew up with poodles and he didn't want anything else. Then a friend suggested standards and we went to meet a breeder. My husband was taken aback by how large they are (his poodles were tiny) but I was smitten. Such lovely dogs! Cate is a lady and very proper. :D

  20. New GFC and Twitter follower. Your Poodle is gorgeous. My friend has a Standard and two miniature/teacups (not sure on the exact definitions as far as sizes). Her Standards name is Coco and she loves me and I her. She is a very good dog although she can be timid. My two male Poms are always all over her when we go over there. I think her long legs turn them on! LOL

    My most memorable Christmas holiday was getting a Cabbage Patch Kid from my mother the year they were super hot and impossible to find. She was an addict and didn't have custody of me so I always questioned her love and this showed she actually thought about me at least. :)

    Thanks so much for the great giveaway and being a part of this amazing hop.

    Merry Christmas,

  21. Hmm I think every year is a new favorite memory. My mom and I spend Christmas Eve cooking in the kitchen, getting our meal ready for the next day. It's just nice to spend time with her. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Holidays!


  22. one year my grandmother came up from florida to spend christmas with us that was nice
    gfc kimberly
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  23. I remember the Christmas where I was lounging around with my young nieces after opening presents, telling them about Steve Martin's THE JERK...I saw my brother watching us in the doorway and getting teary (silly boy)!


  24. This is an easy one for me. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, you know, nice and hot Caribbean weather. Then I moved to NJ as an Air Force wife. The first time I saw snow I turned into a little kid, jumping all over the place like a maniac! LOL I didn't care what anyone said, I didn't care what they thought. I was having the time of my life. We waited until there was enough snow then, without knowing what I was doing, I made a snowman that looked like an inverted cone!!! I'm still laughing all these years later! I had a blast and that's what mattered to me.

    Happy Holidays!


  25. I have warm fuzzy memories of just spending quality and festive times with family! They mean so much to me!

    Sassychassy333 at gmail dot com

  26. The first Christmas after my second child was born. He was about four months old but wide awake and staring at everything in fascination while his sister (about two years old) wanted her gifts but didn't want to destroy the wrapping paper. ;-)


  27. One year, I got a bonus of $5,000 and it was right before the holidays so I got to get everyone in my family something that they had been dying for. I got my dad and iPad, my stepmom a cricut machine, my little sister a lot of really (too) expensive clothes, my other little sister a three-story taller-than-her Barbie house, my mom every cd made by her favorite singer, my stepdad expensive overalls for working on cars, and the rest of my little brothers and sisters tons of Xbox and Wii games that they wanted.....their faces when they opened their gifts were the best gift I could ever ask for :) Thank you for amazing giveaway! Happy Holidays!
    GFC:Brandi Slater

  28. Hello, my friend! Of course I am a follower of your blog! :)

    I can't help but remember a Christmas when my kids were little. I thought I'd be smart and start shopping early, so I wouldn't have to do it all at one time. The trouble with that theory is that I never stopped. On Christmas morning, you'd think I'd robbed a toy store, looking at the mounds of gifts for each child! But you know what? There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Now I try to focus on quality, not quantity. And the kids are grown now, too, although that means they play with more expensive toys lol

    Even so, Christmas is all about my kids, and being with them, either in person, or on the phone for the ones who are too far away. And feeding the ones that are here, because I'm one hell of a cook lol


  29. Holiday memory hmm? Has to be the first Christmas after my dad got out of prison. It was so wonderful to finally share that holiday with him after 9 years! Christmas Eve is also his birthday so that made it doubly awesome!! Best Christmas EVER in my book!
    I follow by email:
    and GFC: Ashley Applebee
    Ashley A

  30. One of my fondest childhood memories was when I woke up on Christmas morning to find a giant Rainbow Brite house play tent set up in the living room.

    I follow on GFC: Jyl22075
    And also Twitter: @Jyl22075

    JYL22075 at gmail dot com

  31. My favorite memory is the Christmas my husband proposed to me. Thank you for a wonderful giveaway. Merry Christmas! Gale Nelson

  32. My favorite memory is when we used to every Christmas Eve go to my grandma's , we would open presents from her , eat and just be together.


    1. forgot to add I am a GFC follower- BLHmistress


  33. I always get a midnight slurpee from 7-11 with my dad! I follow as OceanAkers. Merry Christmas! Thanks so much for participating in the hop!
    Oceanakers @

  34. The 1st year we went and cut down our Xmas tree. It was awesome a whole bunch of people followed this like 1920's Ford pickup out into the woods. When we got to the right place everyone went looking for the perfect tree. They then cut them down and brought them back in that old pickup truck.


    I follow by email and GFC-ceagles

  35. Giving my oldest daughter her PS3...She opened all her gifts and we even cleaned up and got dressed & we're getting ready for our company. My hubby brought the gift out hours later and the look on her face was priceless!

    Thanks for the chance to win :)
    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  36. I follow by email. I favorite memory is when all of our family would get together on Christmas Eve and have dinner and open presents. Since my grandmother died we don't do that any more.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  37. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! I have a lot of favorite memories. One of them is always making sugar cookies on christmas eve with my cousins and my mema. Then we'd open presents, and talk about family stories. So many funny ones! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!