It’s My Birthday…But YOU Get The Presents!

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Photo Credit: pyza* via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: pyza* via Compfight cc

Yes, today is the big double 4. But since I’ve always been a fan of the 11’s times table (who doesn’t love the fun of 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, etc.?), I’m embracing the additional tally on my age column with good humor.

And since I’m in such a good mood, I thought – Why not give away 2 copies of my brand new release? Couldn’t think of any reason not to, so here we go.

I will choose two winners at random from those who leave comments below. (US addresses only.) And since it’s my birthday, let’s go with a theme question.

  • What is the craziest birthday gift you ever received? (It can be crazy good, crazy awful, crazy funny, or just crazy bizarre.)

And in the meantime, I thought I’d give you all a taste of A Worthy Pursuit. So here’s a excerpt from Charlotte and Stone’s story. In this scene, Stone Hammond has been knocked out, trussed up, and is being dragged to Charlotte Atherton’s doorstep. Having regained consciousness on the way, Stone decides to feign insensibility to covertly learn more about his target – the woman who abducted three children from their school in the dead of night. Only she’s not the cold-hearted kidnapper he expected to find.

A Worthy Pursuit

“Mr. Dobson? What on earth . . .?”

Fabric snapped back and forth in a rapid staccato as Miss Atherton hurried to see what her guard dog had drug in.

“He was up on the ridge, miss. Spying on you and the young’uns. With these.”

Ah. Well, at least Stone knew where his field glasses had ended up. The evidence they presented was rather damning, though. He could practically feel her gaze wandering over him, assessing the threat.

Then she was touching him. Her cool hand skimmed over his face until her fingertips rested against the pulse point at his neck. His blood surged at the contact.

“He has a vigorous pulse. I suppose we should be thankful for that.”

Too vigorous for an unconscious man. She didn’t say the words, but Stone heard the suspicion in her tone. The woman was no fool. He willed his breathing to slow, hoping to compensate for his unplanned reaction to her touch.

“I don’t see any blood. You didn’t shoot him, did you?”

“No, miss. Just knocked him a good one. He’ll rouse afore long. What do you want me to do with him?”

An excellent question, Stone thought. Time to see just how far the teacher was willing to go to keep her ill-gotten gains.

“You’ll have to help me get him into the house. I can’t tend to him properly out here in the yard.”

“Get him into the . . .” Dobson sputtered. “Have you lost your mind, woman? You can’t take him into your house. That ain’t what I was askin’. I was askin’ if you wanted me to cart him into Madisonville to the sheriff or take him out back and work out a more permanent solution. Sure as manure stinks, he’s Dorchester’s man.”

“Probably. But we don’t know that for certain. Perhaps he’s simply a cow hand with a penchant for bird watching.”

Bird watching? Stone nearly jumped to his feet to defend his manhood against the foul slur. Only sissified dandies wasted time onβ€”

Her palm pressed against his chest.

As if signaling him to stay down. Had she read his mind?

“Bird watching?” Dobson’s incredulous voice soothed Stone’s pride. “What a load of bunkum. Look at him. He ain’t no bird watcher. He’s a mercenary.”

Retriever, Stone silently corrected. Not mercenary. His brain was for hire, not his gun.

“Even so,” the teacher said, “I can’t condone violence against him. The Bible instructs us to love both our neighbor and our enemy, so no matter which category this man falls into, it is our place to offer assistance. Now, help me carry him into the house.” Her hand finally slid from his chest, but Stone was too stunned to move a muscle.

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:

238 thoughts on “It’s My Birthday…But YOU Get The Presents!”

  1. Happy Birthday Karen! I pray you have a wonderful day and a blessed year!

    I can’t say that I’ve ever received a ‘crazy’ birthday gift. My family has always known what I like and so I guess I have been pretty lucky.

    I would love a copy of your book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

    • I just thought of a gift that my best friend gave me once. It’s not really crazy, only crazy BIG. We were at a restaurant and she gave me a beautiful picture by Thomas Kinkade (I’m a big fan of his work). It is so big that I didn’t know what to do with it so we took it out to the car then finished our meal. I look at it every day and smile.

      • I love Thomas Kincade. Especially his chapels in the mountains. Gorgeous! I usually make do with a calendar. Having an actual print would be fabulous! Great gift.

  2. Happy Birthday, Karen! I absolutely loved that scene in the book! It was fun reading it again.

    The craziest gift I’ve received wasn’t the present itself, it was the packaging it came in. Our 4-H club did secret pals one year and my secret pal wrapped a bunch of things for me and put it in a shoebox. On the shoebox was instructions to open the box slowly. I did so, and something rattled inside. It sounded a little creepy, but ended up being a paperclip attached to a rubberband hitting some carefully placed plastic wrap.

    (P.S: I already have “A Worthy Pursuit,” so don’t enter me in the giveaway.)

    • Interesting gift wrapping. I think I’d be a little nervous with that one. Clever friend. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and thanks for your kind comments about A Worthy Pursuit. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story.

  3. Happy birthday! I really can’t remember a crazy birthday gift. I’m sure I have gotten one or two, but I probably blocked it from my mind.

  4. Hi Karen, Happy birthday and congratulations on your new book!

    Crazy presents. Oh, my, where to start…

    I guess the craziest was the gift I received from my husband the first year we were married. It was the prettiest wrapped box you ever did see.Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found the box empty. My husband explained that it was an invisible nightgown. Suffice it to say that he never tried that trick again.

  5. My parents surprised me with a birthday party when I turned sixteen. I used to ride so my parents had it arranged for my instructor to bring me home late and house was all dark except for the TV . I was distracted by the TV and didn’t even notice the room full of people. Honestly I don’t even remember what I got for my birthday that year.
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

  6. Karen – The excerpt makes this look like such a fun read!

    Happy Birthday! I never thought of elevensies as being fun, but reading your post, I see that they are!

    My favorite birthday present was one that I gave actually to my oldest son when he was nine. Does that count? I hid notes all over the house with short silly limericks so that he had to find one to go to the next and at the end was his gift (a trip to Lazer tag) It made for a fun day.

    • That absolutely counts! How fun, Kathryn. I tried to do something similar for one of my daughter’s birthday parties. She had a sleep over the rear the renewed Nancy Drew movie came out, so that was our theme. I planted clues around the house the girls had to decipher in order to find the treasure chest that was filled with the party favors – Nancy Drew books, of course. πŸ™‚

  7. Happy birthday, Karen! You’re still a spring chicken. πŸ™‚

    “Perhaps he’s just a cowhand with a penchant for bird watching.” I nearly choked on my coffee. Thanks for laugh first thing in the morning.

    I can’t point to just one favorite gift. No matter what it is, any gift that comes from the heart is special to me.

    Have a wonderful birthday!

  8. Felicitations!

    I had written down a title of a book I wanted (Wicked Plants: the Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities) on a list I gave my brother. Apparently I had made a spelling error, which my brother’s fiance caught, and instead had written “Wicked Pants.” I did receive the book, but I also received a pair of pants with “WICKED” painted quite boldly across the backside. Not my usual style, but they are very comfortable. They do not, however, leave the house.

    • Oh my goodness – that is HILARIOUS! So funny. And what a fun title for a book on poisonous plants. And I love that you actually wear the pants, even if it is only in the house. Great story, Rachael!

  9. Happy birthday, Karen! I got my craziest birthday gifts on my 40th birthday. My co-workers gave me a walking cane fitted with a horn to make people get out of the way of this old lady. I also got an old wrinkled paper bag because I was evidently an old wrinkled bag! Fun!!!

  10. Happy Birthday Karen! The best birthday gift I received as having my first son born on my birthday.

    • Aww…that’s so sweet. And a gift you can share every year. My first son was born 4 days after my birthday, so we are close, but not quite as close as you and your son.

  11. I really don’t have any memorable gifts but my husband got all sorts of gag gifts for his 30th including a yard stick cut off at 30 inches!

  12. My best crazy good present was the new sheltie puppy I just got for my 34th birthday on the 4th. πŸ™‚

  13. Happy Birthday Blessings for you, Karen! For my birthday one year, my husband Harry gifted me a song they he sang while playing his guitar, then he said, ‘Know it’s your turn.’ and handed me a box wrapped in tissue paper, inside was a harmonica!

  14. Hello! Well, it’s not the gift, but the wrapping…with a birthday so near Christmas, I routinely got a lot of birthday gifts in Christmas wrapping paper. I never mind though! πŸ™‚

    • Those December birthdays are tough. It’s hard to make them feel special so close to Christmas, but it sounds like you’ve always had a good attitude about yours, Staci!

  15. Karen, happy birthday! Since you know me, and my husband, you may find my craziest birthday present no surprise. When I turned 20, we were at ACU, and my then fiancΓ© left a brand-new fishing pole in the front seat of my car. I was surprised. Not exactly excited, though. I did go fishing with him, however, many many times.

  16. Happy Birthday!!! The best birthday gift was getting engaged with a lovely ring on my 18th birthday. We’ll be married 46 years next month!

  17. Howdy Karen,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope you have a wonderful day today, filled with joy and laughter.

    The first thing I thought of as a crazy birthday present was a bowling pin, yeah.. At Main Event, they let people buy pins that they write on, so back in high school, My friend got me one. It has my name and Happy Birthday on it. Its pretty cool.

    Thanks for having this contest on your birthday. That is very giving of you. I can’t wait to get your book, either hopefully from this or when I get a chance to go buy it. I have all of your others so gotta keep up the collection. Thanks again!

    Briana Teal

  18. The craziest birthday surprise I had was when I was expecting my twins and had a surprise baby shower! I thought I was walking into a typical birthday cake & “Happy Birthday” song after school, but was surprised by the teachers! Happy Birthday, Karen!

  19. Happy birthday,Karen! You know me as well. I think my craziest birthday was when I turned 43. We decided to get gifts that only cost $7! I got freaky yellow maim polish and even a dog bone! What’s crazier than that?!

    • A dog bone? That IS crazy. I think I would have been tempted to paint it yellow with the freaky nail polish then tie it in my hair like the old Flintstone cartoons. Ha!

  20. Happy Birthday Karen!

    I don’t know about a crazy present, but when I was turning 15 my parents tried to throw me a surprise party. It would have worked except the day of the party, my little sister, who was seven at the time, asked me, “Can I invite my friend to your surprise party this afternoon?” I blinked at her, then called my mom to tell her the gig was up. She said, “Well, now that you know about it, how about you clean the kitchen to get ready for the party?” πŸ™‚

    • Ha! Love the way children think. And then your mom trying to sneak in some extra chores. You have a crafty family, Deborah. πŸ™‚ Hope you had fun even with all the mishaps. πŸ™‚

  21. Happy birthday, Karen! I had a guy I was friends with (he didn’t want to be my boyfriend but we spent a lot of time together *sigh*) For my eighteenth birthday he made me a painted glass decoration. He MADE this! It says “The flowers appear on the earth: The time of the singing of birds is come…” Song of Solomon 2:12. That was over 30 years ago! I still have it on the wall in my office. I haven’t seen or heard anything of him for probably 29 years but I remember him every time I see that! No one has ever given me smething that personal, handmade or beautiful before or since.

  22. I don’t really remember a crazy gift but I got a cake one year with REAL firecrackers on it!!

    • That sounds explosive! I’m picturing shards of cake going everywhere. Ha!I’m sure it was much more controlled, but that created a great mental image. πŸ™‚

  23. Happy Birthday Karen. Enjoy your day. A gift which I received and was not thrilled with at all was a can opener, apple peeler, and this was from my husband.

    • Ah, yes. The romantic husband gifts. I’ll never forget the year I got a toilet seat. I think it was supposed to be a gag, but it was wrapped and under the Christmas tree. It was heavy and I was so intrigued to see what it was. Not so thrilled when the paper came off, but I did get a good laugh out of it. A few years ago, I returned the favor and gave him one. πŸ™‚

  24. The craziest birthday present I ever received was a wood chipper from my hubby. He was so excited about it. He told me he bought it to help clean up our land and knew I would love using the machine. I gave him a look of “are you kidding me” and walked back in the house. I heard the wood chipper start up and I said “well Happy Birthday to me.”

    Thanks for the chance to receive one of your books and Happy Birthday Karen

  25. Happy birthday!!! I absolutely love anything you write and count the days until your next release!! The craziest gift I have ever received was a toilet seat from my husband!! He had dropped it down after using the bathroom and it had a crack. I kept reminding him to get a new one so he did a few weeks later… And wrapped it up for my birthday!! And he thought it was a good idea…. LOL it’s a story we will laugh about forever!

    • That is hysterical, Jennifer. Especially because I just replied to Ellie about the time my husband did the exact same thing – except is was Christmas. These crazy men. Maybe they should start a toilet-seat-giving club. (Eyes rolling)

  26. Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to read your new book. My birthday was Sunday & I turned 41 & I may have been crazy to ask for a bike! One crazy good gift I got one year was a trip with my Mom to the Dallas Cowboys training camp!

    • Happy Birthday to you, too, Angela! And I think a bike is a great gift! Doesn’t quite compare to the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, but it will probably last longer. πŸ™‚

  27. I can’t think of a crazy birthday gift, but those cutie-wootie guinea pigs pictured reminded me of my craziest Valentine’s Day gift – a guinea pig named, appropriately, Valentine.

  28. Happy birthday!

    Probably the craziest birthday gift I ever got was from my rich, but thrifty aunt. We sort of have a secret contest in our family to see who can get the worst gift from her. She is a sweet lady, but a terrible gift-giver. On my 30th birthday she gave me a book entitled “Marriable: Taking the Desperate Out of Dating.” It was used, probably from a garage sale. I laughed it off and was sure I had “won” our family contest for that year, until my cousin got an eyebrow waxing kit (also possibly used)from her a month later.

    • Oh my goodness – That is FUNNY! You have to wonder if she truly thought her gifts were good or if she secretly gave awful things on purpose to see everyone’s reaction. You and your cousin definitely got some doozies.

  29. My craziest birthday gift- My Mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told her a date. I had just finished college. So she started praying for a date for me. Well, I did have a date for my birthday! The end of this story, we have been married 24 years!

    • AWESOME!!! Prayer at work. What a fabulous story, Beth! Kind of reminds me of the plot set up for Stealing the Preacher where Joanna asks for a preacher for her birthday – then eventually marries him. Glad you had the true life happy ending!

  30. I haven’t really had a crazy birthday gift but my husband had a surprise 80’s theme 40th birthday party for me two years ago and seeing my friends dressed up for it was hysterical!
    Thanks for the giveaway and happy birthday! The excerpt has me hooked already.

  31. Happy Birthday Karen!
    I have had a few odd birthday gifts not so much crazy. My birthday is on 10-10 when I turned 10 I thought I might get something great. I got a 10 speed bicycle, normally a great gift however my stepdad (former) bought an inner tube that was 4 inches bigger than the tire and folded it over before filling it up with air. That bike was never quite right! On of the best gifts I ever got was a sign written by my daughter. I never could remember how old I was, I once told a new doctor I was 30, he kept asking when my birthday was, I kept telling him, thinking he was a bit crazy, then he looked at me and said “sweetie, you are only 26” I laughed for years over that. Back to the sign, my daughter made me a HUGE Happy Birthday Mom sign, she drew a cake, balloons and flowers. In smaller letters she wrote “You are 34!” in the years following she would cross out the numbers and put the correct year until she ran out of room. I turned 50 on my last birthday, she sent me an email that said Happy Birthday Mom, you are 50! I loved it.

    Have a wonderful day!

    • That’s fabulous, Andrea. Don’t tell anyone, but I often have to stop and calculate my age to remember how old I am, too. Thankfully, I was born in ’71 so the math is pretty easy. Love your daughter’s sign idea. So fun!

  32. Happy B-day Karen It is sweet of you giving your new book away on your B-day.I’ve been following you on Face.I hope i can win your new book. Hope u have fun on your B-day. Sandra L.

  33. Happy Birthday, Karen! Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.

    I don’t think I’ve ever received a crazy birthday gift, but one Christmas one of my grandmas bought me a white sweater with a Ferris wheel on it with little pompoms that were where the cars would be. I was I believe a new teen that year, too. Sigh. That was the only gift I believe I have ever returned/exchanged in all my 43 years.

      • If I had been a little older when I gotten it, I might have thought to save it. It would have been fun to hang onto it, though. πŸ™‚

  34. I’m not sure, I love gifts of any kind, so it is hard for me to get a bad gift. I guess the time the easter bunny didn’t come to see me cause I was 13… both my parents thought I was “over that kind of thing” and as I was the youngest, the EB hadn’t come to see anyone… I cried. the next day when I got home from school there was a stuffed bunny on my bed with some candy, and a note saying sorry, he got stuck in traffic…

    • That’s precious, DaNella. My kids are 17, 15, and 13 and still get baskets every year for Easter. they all know it’s from Mom, but who wants to give up the chance for candy and little gifts? I guess when they go off to college the Easter bunny might finally retire. At least until the grandkids start showing up. πŸ™‚

  35. Happy Birthday To You! We lived in Ecuador and it was my 50th birthday. My husband knew I was sad about turning 50 and homesick for my family. We invited a few friends over and had Mexican food catered from my favorite Ecuadorian/Mexican restaurant. It was a nice, relaxing evening with friends! Until I heard a trumpet!!! We lived on the side of a mountain. There were hundreds of steps from my front door down to the street. All of a sudden, a Mariachi Band was climbing the steps, playing their instruments and singing in Spanish. I think I was just laughing and crying in shock! They entered the house and we had a fiesta for sure! I have never laughed so much, danced so much, and smiled deliriously in shock! It was a wonderful birthday surprise!

  36. Best wishes. A gift which I appreciated and loved was many years ago from my late parents, a precious photo.

  37. Happy Birthday, Karen. I reached the same multiple of 11, myself in April. Hope it is blessed.

    I really can’t think of a crazy gift, which I received, but I will tell you of a surprising gift I received.

    The other attorney with whom I practice has never really been “hip” to the types of gifts I would like. However, this year, he and his daughter, our paralegal, gave me a wonderful coffee table book of Charles Dickens, including some reproductions of his “papers”. I was so surprised and delighted by the gift.

    Again, have a wonderful and blessed day.

    • What a thoughtful gift! It definitely shows how much you mean to them that they would go out of their way to find something so thoughtful. Great co-workers are a blessing. Glad to share 44 with you!

  38. Happy Birthday! I love your books! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten any crazy presents but I have gotten some odd ones. My mother-in-law likes to frequent yard sales and usually gives presents from her finds. The weirdest gifts were weighted plastic wrap to cover salad bowls and a strawberry corer. Definitely useful, just odd. Though it is nice that she remembers my birthday! πŸ™‚

  39. First off, happy birthday! I hope your day is wonderful!
    I guess my gift I’m thinking of would be crazy good. For my last birthday (3-0), my sister gave me a gift bag of books off my TBR list. There were at least 8 of them. I was so excited!

    • What a great sister! I never give my husband a chance to buy me books. I always just buy them for myself. I’m too impatient. πŸ™‚ You must have good self-control, Holly. πŸ™‚

  40. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a blessed day! The funniest/craziest gift i ever received was a candle from a co-worker that had already been lit and burned a little. I guess she didn’t like the aroma and decided to re-gift it. =)

  41. I don’t know about crazy gifts, but his year we didn’t have any birthday wrapping paper so my husband and I ended up wrapping each other’s b-day gifts in Christmas wrapping paper. Haha!

    • I always hit the after Christmas sales on wrapping paper looking specifically for holiday neutral paper that can be used all year. Found some blue stripes one year and solid red or green works, too. No one has to know it’s “Christmas” paper. πŸ˜‰

  42. My daughters completely surprised me with a party on my 50th birthday. I was supposed to be surprised on my 70th birthday but was suspicious. However, my daughter and her family from out of state were a wonderful surprise!

  43. The best AND craziest gift was for my 28th birthday. My husband and my very best friend (whom I hadn’t seen in many years) concocted a surprise party for me. We had a massive snow storm and many people weren’t able to be there because of that, but she was! A trip that was supposed to have taken about 2 hours took her almost 6 because of the weather, but she was there for me. That’s just one of the many reasons I love that crazy girl!

    • How fun! My husband and best friend from high school planned a special anniversary trip that was a surprise for me for our 20th wedding anniversary. One of the best parts was seeing my friend who lives halfway across the country. Awesome!

  44. Happy Happy B-day Karen!!! Hmmm, nothing really crazy, but the best gift ever was when I was turning 11… my family went on our first cruise and it was with Disney… not like it is today, but still a great experience… enjoyed crazy weather being in the middle of a hurricane… fun time at Cape Canaveral and then Disney World! πŸ™‚

    • Cool! I’ve thought about taking the kids on a Disney Cruise. We’ve done Disney World but now that they are getting older I thought the cruise might be fun.

    I can’t think of anything as far as my birthdays are concerned, but this year our older son turned 40 and his wife and six kids had so much fun honoring him with 40 gifts. He had notes all over at home, at work, in the car telling him where to look for gifts. He had promises for help and kisses and hugs (on paper) from the little ones, gift cards and babysitting vouchers from the bigger kids and numerous gifts large and small plus a progressive dinner to several of his favorite restaurants. He said it was the best birthday ever thanks to his amazing family.

  46. How fun! Thanks for celebrating YOUR birthday by giving US presents. Happy birthday! The craziest birthday present I have ever gotten is probably when WB released my favorite TV show on DVD (Scarecrow and Mrs. King). I opened that and squealed like my little girls, who looked at me like I was nuts!

  47. The craziest “gift” I ever received was for my 40th birthday. The gals at the office took me to lunch and afterward they gave me a special cake. It had a big licorice you-know-what on it! Oh my! I was shocked but we all had a laugh. πŸ™‚

    Happy Birthday to you!

  48. The best birthday gift I got was the year my family decided to do a Disneyworld vacation and I finagled it over my birthday :), it was the year they were doing a “get in free on your birthday” promotion and since we already had tickets I got a giftcard for the price of a ticket to use at any Disney property!

  49. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Karen, and many more, too! xo

    I can’t think of a crazy birthday gift…mine always seem spot on. One of the best was my neighbor boy who was eleven at the time…learning to play Phantom of the Opera (my favorite at the time) on the piano for my birthday. Awwwwww.

    Birthday blessings always!

  50. Many happy returns of your birthday, Ms. Witemeyer!
    I don’t think I’ve had any crazy birthday gifts. Unless you count little stuffed lambs. I’m crazy about sheep. That’s one thing, among others, that I liked about Head in the Clouds.

    • Ha! Perfect. I bought my son a giant stuffed sheep one year around Easter. He is just the right size for a full-armed, squishy hug. Love him. My kiddos think he’s too big, but we made up a song for him called the Big Fat Sheep that we sing all the time. πŸ™‚

  51. I always looked forward to getting a present from my sister in law. she always bought the best gifts! But one year she sent me a wreath made of peppers… oh my…

  52. Hmmm.. craziest gift? I can’t think of any.. but I can think fo the most awesome one πŸ˜€ The most awesomegift was getting to see Tim Hawkins in concert!

    Thanks for the givewaway!

  53. Hi, Mrs. Witemeyer! Happy Birthday!
    I absolutely love all your books and I am looking forward to this one, too!!

    I didn’t receive a crazy gift, but the way I received it was crazy and very special and out of the norm for my dad to do such a thing. When I was 15 my mom and dad bought me a boom box. You know, the kind that you had to carry around and some people would carry on their shoulders? Yeah, that was really back in the day! They were so popular and everyone wanted one! That made this birthday even more special because it was a wonderful and thoughtful gift!
    Anyway, my dad made that special for me by hiding clues on pieces of paper and I had to keep going until I finally found my present. It was so much fun and it was something that my dad had never done. My dad has been gone now for 8 years and I miss him very much. This is one of my fondest memories of him because he took the time to make it a special birthday for me!

    Thanks for the chance to win and I hope you have a wonderful and blessed birthday!

    • Oh, yeah. I had one of those boom boxes. Double cassette player plus radio. Top of the line, baby. πŸ™‚ I kept that thing for years. I think I finally donated it to goodwill a couple years ago.

  54. Many happy returns of the day, Karen! I’m really excited about your book and can’t wait to read it!

    I can’t think of any really crazy birthday gifts, just unexpected ones–like a Lithographs t-shirt of Pride & Prejudice. One of the craziest gifts (non-birthday) I’ve ever gotten was a fossil from a guy during an Invertebrate Zoology field trip. I’m the daughter of two geologists, so the crazy part was that I thought it was an awesome gift.

  55. Happy Birthday,,the strangest gift I ever got was a porcelin chamber pot,,yes that is correct,,and elegant poop pot with lid to match,,i had my house done in antiques,and just happen to pass by a shop that had this expensive poop pot inthe window,,and i happen to say must have been some rich ppls chamber pot,,the next time i saw this it was wrapped up for my birthday present,he was so proud of himself i didnt have the heart to say WHAT?where do you display such a item??i put it on the closet and told him i was afraid the kids would break it,,my boss asked me what I go for my birthday,,i said I bet im the only girl in the world that got a feces pot for her birthday,,my boss was a doctor and i was his office nurse,,he laughed until it was embarrasing,,and said yes ma’am that is probably true,what are yo ugoing to do it?I said hide it

    • That’s funny. I actually have a plain white one that I got from my grandmother. I have several antique toiletry items, so I actually display mine – discreetly on the floor, of course. I have a wash stand with a basin and ewer along with a shaving mug and brush, so the chamber pot fits right it. πŸ™‚ You just need to add more to your collection.

  56. Craziest birthday gift I ever got was a knee length, 4 sizes too big, purple plaid skirt from my paternal grandmother. It looked so bad on me

  57. Well, having a Halloween birthday, I have received too many weird and strange gifts over the years to remember!!

  58. The craziest (most awesome present) I have ever recieved was last year from my husband. I have been a closet writer my whole life and hope to one day break in to the historical Christian fiction genre one day. My husband without knowing I had been looking at it, bought me a ticket and hotel room (for this year) to my state’s Christian Writer’s Conference. I am beyond excited to get to attend it on my actual birthday in just a few weeks.

    • Wonderful! You will love it, Crystal. You learn so much at those writing conferences and meet people who will support you and teach you about the industry. Such a perfect gift for a writer. Your hubby gets extra brownie points for that one. πŸ™‚

  59. Craziest gift was from my husband– a Groupon for Skydiving!! haha I’m going after we get back from summer vacation…just in case. πŸ˜‰
    He also wrote me a song one year. That was THE BEST gift EVER!!

    Have a wonderful birthday!! πŸ™‚

  60. Happy birthday! I love reading your books and am excited to read this new one.

    Craziest birthday gift? Um…I cannot think of any. My family is very practical. My sister got a plugin air freshener one time.

  61. Happy and Blessed a Birthday! Praying you have a wonderful day.
    I can’t say I ever received a crazy present for my birthday. It is so close to Christmas that I would get a combined gift.

  62. Happy Birthday and God Bless You!!! I really enjoy reading your books.
    Thank you so much for writing such entertaining stories!!!

  63. The “craziest” best birthday gift I have ever received was for my Sweet 16 from my Mommy. She gave me a Claddaugh ring for our Irish heritage. It was the best gift and I still wear it to this day! It was a sweet and wonderful surprise that meant and means so much to me.

  64. I believe it was my 38th bday and I had just returned home from taking my eldest to get on the camp bus. The baby was down for a nap and the middle two were playing quietly – or so I thought! Instead, they were taking their craft paints and using them on each other! Oh, what a mess! All my husband could say was to ask if I got any pictures. Unfortunately, I was too upset to grab the camera.

  65. One of my favorite birthday gifts ever were tickets to Stars on Ice, the week before we found out that my favorite figure skater of all time was going to be a guest performer that night. It was amazing!!

  66. Happy Birthday, have a great one! I can’t think of a crazy birthday gift that I received. I alway go to my sister’s house on the weekend around my birthday and they have a nice dinner for me and we always have a great time.

  67. Happy Birthday! Thanks for the give-away for your birthday! My sister sent me a box of canes for my 40th, some broken, all used!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  68. For my fortieth birthday,my aunt and two friends hiked pikes peak with me because i have looked at it my whole life and wanted to conquer something to prove to myself i was not over the hill. Lol! It was a great present. πŸ™‚

  69. Hi Karen, Happy birthday! Hope your day is full of surprises and may God Bless each one of them.
    I’ve never really received any crazy birthday gifts but I will say this, my husband surprised me one Valentine’s day with flowers and a nice dinner. He’s never surprised me with flowers before because I have a cat that likes to eat them! However; I did find a place that she couldn’t get to!!!!!

  70. When my husband and I were first married and very broke, he took me to the store, picked out a beautiful card and said, “Here, this is the one I would give you, if we could afford it.” I kissed him and said, “Thank you, honey, that was really sweet.” And we put it back and walked out together, holding hands. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the memory!

  71. it wasn’t exactly a gift but it was for my 12th birthday. My older brother and his best friend somehow fit 12 candles on a cupcake for me. It was like an amazing ball of fire! Funny thing was, they denied doing this for me for YEARS until we finally found photographic evidence! Now there’s no denying it! Haha. Happy, happy birthday to you! I love reading your books and have read them all. They’re some of my favorites!

  72. Happy Birthday, Karen! I just started reading your books, and they are now on my wish list. I used to be a scrapbooking consultant, and one year my birthday coincided with a regularly scheduled workshop held in my home. My husband arranged a surprise Birthday Party by notifying all my guests and encouraging our church choir to pop in at around 8:30 pm, when I always had snack time. My adult children were both home from college, and they had chipped in on a Thomas Kincade print called “A New Day Dawning.” My husband also gave me a camera!!! Kudos to my family for a great surprise. Now if you had asked about Crazy Christmas gifts I would have had to tell about the black pepper and vinegar!

      • Karen, my son has a sense of humor. He gives very creative and thoughtful gifts now, but in college… he was more “let’s make everyone laugh” in his gift giving. I used to and still do choke up and start to cough if I get too much vinegar or black pepper in my food. So Brian wrapped up a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of black pepper for my “under the stocking” gifts that year. (We all love the stocking gifts!) Anyway, everyone had a good laugh at that!

  73. This wasn’t a gift, but my friend brought to my 50th birthday party a wheelchair for me to use.

  74. Yay! Happy Birthday Karen dear!!!!!!!

    For one of my birthday’s my husband bought me a trampoline. (Before we had kids) I had always wanted one growing up, so he made my childhood dream come true!

    I better find him and kiss his face. That was kind of cute thing to do πŸ˜‰

    • Awesome! I love trampolines, too. Never had one of my own, either. Now I’m afraid to get on one. My luck I’d bounce right off the thing and break my leg or something. Coordination is going downhill with age. So sad. Gives my hubby and kids lots of fodder for laughter, though.

  75. I love your post it was so fun, and I was smiling the whole time reading your the part of the book. I wanted to tell you to how nice it is that you respond to everyone. When I saw that there was 162 comments I thought well my chances are slim but it’s so encouraging to see an author respond to her fans! I think the best almost bday gift I got was when my 2nd child who will be 4 this November was born. Our birthdays are in the same week. It truly was such a special blessing to celebrate his birth that week!

  76. Happy birthday, Karen! I hope you have a day full of blessings and fun! πŸ™‚ Crazy birthday gift? I really can’t specifically remember any, since I’m a pretty practical person I doubt I’ve gotten anything crazy, lol! Or if I have, I just don’t remember it….haha! There was only one person in my life years ago that just didn’t know my tastes in gifts, I did a lot of re-gifting (is that a terrible thing?) Guess I’m at the age where I don’t really think of my birthday, after all, I’ll be 29 forever πŸ˜€
    Thanks for the excerpt of you new book, sounds amazing! And for the chance to win a copy!

    • If you are subtle about it, I have no issue with re-gifting. (Probably because I’ve done it a time or two myself.) If I know someone will like something I can’t use, why not? But then I have a strong practical streak, too. πŸ™‚

  77. When I was 37 my hubby gave me a $10 bill for each year. He laid it all out on the table in front of me. Pretty much took up the whole table. I don’t remember what I bought with it, but I remember it was fun because there was never much money to do spontaneous things with!

  78. Hi Karen,

    Happy Birthday! I hope your day is a blessed one and it’s the beginning of another wonderful year!

    I don’t have any crazy birthday gifts. But my hubby did a fun thing this last birthday (March). He gave me something a day for five days leading up to my birthday. Fun, thoughtful things like ordering my favorite candy from Amazon, getting me the first season of Diagnosis Murder, things like that. It was so much fun!

    I just started reading your book today and I’m loving it so far! Looking forward to sitting back and reading more this evening!

    Again, have a wonderful day today!

  79. Happy Birthday,Karen.

    I have never gotten a really crazy gift, but my dad did build me a tree house for my birthday one year. Hope you have an incredible birthday this year!

  80. Happy Birthday, Karen.

    I have never received a crazy birthday present, but one year my dad built me a tree house.I hope that you will have an incredible birthday this year!

  81. I have read several of Karen’s books. I loved The Archer Brothers series. I have never recieved a gift for someone else’s birthday, so this would be a first for a 75 year old woman. Thanks and God Bless.

  82. I would have to say my best present (you can call it crazy good if you want to) was the year that my son got home from Iraq at the end of October but wasn’t able to come home for a visit right away. He and my husband managed to surprise me by having him show up for my birthday in December. My husband took the day off from work, but didn’t tell me. He hung out all morning and then picked our son up at the airport and they showed up at home.

  83. The craziest gift I ever received was a laundry basket from my kids. It has now become a joke and I get one every year.

  84. Happy 44th birthday!

    Because I was born 4-4-44, my birthday always falls near Easter, my grandfather always gave me baby chickens that had been dyed many colors. It was always special because the cousins always got a quarter from him. My mother was living at home when I was born because my father was in the service so Grandpa never forgot my birthday.

  85. Happy Birthday! I hope you have an amazing day!
    The present I got definitely falls under the crazy good category. I was turning 16, but my birthday was not for a couple of days. I came home from school and was exhausted so I went to have a nap. Some time later I was woken up by some movement in my arms and there was a puppy and he started licking my face. He is the best present I ever got!

  86. Happy, Happy Birthday dear sweet Karen! I hope it has been a great day for you. And I hope you have many, many more birthdays!!!!!

    My craziest good birthday gift was a Wurlitzer Jukebox filled with Oldies Music on my 50th birthday. Wow!!!! Was I ever excited!!!!!

  87. the craziest birthday gift I ever received was a full day in sophistication…a fancy restaurant in an expensive hotel being the best part.. All with my mom and grandma. πŸ™‚


    Your book looks amazing! I have been collecting your others slowly but surely this past year and words cannot express how much I adore them.

    I haven’t gotten too many crazy birthday presents over the years. My family is pretty chill when it comes to birthdays.

    But, definitely the most bizarre gift I have ever received was for my thirteenth birthday- someone bought me a pair of fishnet stockings and my mom was just like “Um, no, Jenni, you’re not wearing those. That’s not the kind of girl you want to be.”

    So I cut off the legs and made fingerless gloves for a steampunk costume with them instead πŸ˜›

  89. The only crazy thing I can think of is …when I was younger a distant relative always sent me white athletic socks…every birthday. I always had plenty of white socks but was shocked that they came every year without fail!

  90. A fitbit from my Dad’s family. Think they were trying to tell me something? πŸ˜›
    Most everybody in the family had one so they got me one too, so I could join in on the fun.

  91. My birthday is in a week so this would be the best gift for me and Happy Birthday to you too!!!

  92. I don’t really have a crazy story….one of the best gifts that happened was last year for my birthday my 19 year old son made a cake (never thought he could even turn on the oven) and he decorated it for me. He was so excited he showed it to me before I went to work so what’s left to do…have chocolate cake for breakfast! I will never forget that day!
    Happy birthday KAREN!!

  93. My coolest birthday present was finding out that I was pregnant on my birthday πŸ™‚ Then I got to surprise my hubs with the news!

    Happy birthday!

  94. My favorite gift was getting a bunch of biiks this past year for my Bday. (one of yours was in that pile!) πŸ˜€

    Happy birthday!

  95. Happy birthday. Hope you had a wonderful time.

    I have never gotten a strange birthday gift, a few odd Christmas gifts though. One of the oddest ones I have given was a bit self-serving. I had always wanted to go to New Orleans, but could never talk my husband into it. One year I made reservations for a week’s stay and gave it to him for his birthday. We both had a wonderful time, and he took me there for my birthday the following year.

    A WORTHY PURSUIT sounds like another good book from you. I look forward to reading it.

  96. Well I have had two amazing gifts the first one came in 2003 in form of labor pain. .. (All Day LONG) from the time I woke up at 6:30 am until the next day when she was born. My second was my honeymoon in 2013. So my wedding anniversary is Oct. 5 my birthday Oct.6 and my daughter birthday Oct 7. And to put a cherry on top my husband is Oct 17.

    • Wow! That’s got me beat. My daughter is May 12, I’m May 27, my son is May 31, and our anniversary is June 5. You take the cake with all of them in a row like that. And then you have Halloween. Ack!

  97. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAREN!! Hope you had an amazing day. ????

    One year my husband gave me a new kitchen knife set for my birthday. I did have to convince him that’s what I really wanted, but he did finally give in.

  98. Happy Birthday to us! 44 was such a great year! I hope you have a wonderful year filled with fun, good health and no dog bones. I guess a tool bucket like
    contractors use because I was always the “handyman” in our house. Of course it was given to me the year that I developed good reasons not to any more.

    • Is it your birthday too, Whitney? Awesome! Thankfully, I didn’t get any buckets this year. Ha! At least they weren’t wanting you to “kick” the bucket. πŸ™‚

  99. Awww. Happy, Happy Birthday Karen. May you have many, many more.
    I don’t remember any crazy gifts for my birthday off the top of my head, but I did have many get-togethers where we ate wonderful Devils Food cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing. πŸ™‚ Can you tell I LOVE chocolate. Hope that you have a wonderful day.

  100. Happy Birthday!
    For my birthday one year my husband got me a Glade plug in, because it was shaped like a gingerbread man. I collect gingerbread items, but we all had a good laugh over the plug in.

  101. Don’t know it if would could but I got the flu one year for my birthday! Ended up with Pneumonia ! !
    Happy Birthday to you!

  102. Happy Birthday! I’ll be having the big 66 soon. I’ll try to have your positive attitude about the double numbers ;-).

    When I think about it, many of my gifts have been crazy or funny – must say something about me. But one I remember is the big talking Mickey Mouse. I used to be wild about anything Disney so one birthday my hubby gave me a large Mickey with a cassette player inside – you put in the tape and Mickey’s mouth moved through the story. Must have been the 80’s when those things were popular.

  103. I haven’t had too many crazy birthday gifts but a couple years ago my friend gave me several light house gifts since she knows I have painted with oil a number of light house paintings. In fact my sister just sent me a light house scarf! Amazing how many things can be made for a theme!

  104. I guess the fact that my wedding anniversary is one day after my birthday means that my hubby is my best and craziest gift. πŸ™‚

  105. I really enjoy reading your books and would love to have a copy of your newest book. The weirdest birthday gift I received was clothes that don’t fit and were not my style. Needless to say, I had to return them for something I liked. I no longer receive clothes, but gift cards to the stores I shop at. It is alot easier than exchanging clothes that don’t fit and I look terrible in.

  106. HappyBirthday Karen!!
    Hope you are having a blessed day!
    My crayziest most fun birthday gift – Disney Cruise. Love, love Disney Cruises.

  107. Happy birthday Karen, You are
    the same age as me but my next birthday comes June 6th.
    Your books have such a delightful sense of humor and I would love to read this newest one.

    Deanne Patterson


  108. Happy Birthday!

    The craziest gift I ever got was a seven foot tall gumball machine from my uncle. The thing was the real deal and it was so much fun to have, but it took up so much space in the garage.

    I can’t wait to read A Worthy Pursuit. So excited!!

  109. i can’t wait to read your new book! I have loved every one of your others and this one looks so fun. Happy birthday too!

    One of the best gifts I ever received was a car from my husband. Most unexpected and biggest gift too, Over 5 years later I’m still loving that gift. ????

  110. Happy Birthday, Karen!

    The craziest birthday gift I received was publishing my first book right before my 21st birthday. Best gift ever. LOL πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much for the giveaways!

  111. The craziest birthday gift I got was when I turned 50. The people I worked with gave me a display of “over the hill” stuff. I worked in a warehouse in shipping so when had a bunch of long tables that we worked on. So one of tables they had a coffin with a head stone “over the hill” on it, black table cloth, a cane with a cow bell, rear view mirror, one red cowboy boot hanging from it. I think there might be a couple other things on it, I have it packed away. Never had a birthday party before so this tops it all. Wasn’t long after that I got injured at work, I should have used it. Now I’m disabled because of an illness and walk with a cane. I should find it and use it instead. But I don’t want to destroy it so I’ll leave it packed away.

    • Happy “Belated” Birthday!! I forgot to wish you this when I wrote my comment, sorry!

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