Christmas with a twist-and a giveaway

One of the great things about America is the melting pot.
Polish traditions, Irish traditions, Italian traditions, Native American traditions, Mexican traditions, South African traditions, all work their way into our country, blend, change, grow, mix together. In the end, the best thing about America is that we get the pick of the best things in the world, put our own spin on them and make them uniquely American.

Is there any other explanation for Mexican Pizza?
Moccasin’s in leopard prints?
Christmas trees decorated with mule deer antlers and pheasant feathers?

A nativity scene out of Russian matryoshka nesting dolls?

I know, I’m talking Christmas again, sorry. It’s on my mind because of my September release Cowboy Christmas.
If it bothers you, go to the mall, walk down the ornament aisle. You’re lucky if you find Halloween. Forget Thanksgiving. There’s probably already mistletoe hanging around, and if there isn’t, the back-to-school pens and papers are still holding sway. Give it two more weeks until the little tykes get back in school then BAM.
It may still bother you, but I think you’ll know I’m not the only one out here thinking Christmas already.

Cowboy Christmas releases September 1st but I’ve noticed that it’s already marked as Shipping on so that’s exciting. Go to your local bookstore and ask for it. If they don’t have it, I give you permission to throw a fit. Hold your breath. Lay on the floor and kick and scream until they promise to start stocking it.
Call the newspaper first.
Uh. . .and don’t mention this blog. Act like it’s your own idea.

Here’s a bit about Cowboy Christmas.
Annette Talbot has the voice of an angel and the devil on her trail.
Elijah Walker has been burned by a lying woman and now, pretty Annette is shaping up to be a bigger liar than his ex-fiancé.
Annette is determined to stop always being a coward. She’s growing in a backbone and she’s going to do it right now. Or well, maybe not RIGHT now. Maybe she’ll wait until it’s a little bit safer.
Annette has a knack for standing firm when she ought to bend, and bending when she ought to stand firm. She should have bent when Elijah said he’d take care of her. But Annette didn’t have the much trouble defying nice guy Elijah.
Elijah’s doing his best to ignore this little damsel in distress. But Annette gets pretty much dropped straight into Elijah’s unwilling arms. He can’t exactly toss her back in the frigid river to float on downstream, now can he?
But helping her isn’t the same as trusting her, and that he will never do. Annette decides that she’ll practice being brave by standing up to Elijah. Elijah’s getting tired of having a snippy woman in his face. And he’s really getting tired of catching himself in the midst of kissing Annette. That’s not part of his plan to protect his heart.
Winter comes on hard.
Christmas draws near.
And one squabbling couple may get a chance to forget their old hurts and follow their own star to true love.
Cowboy Christmas in bookstores now.

Tell me about your favorite family Christmas tradition, especially one you’ve turned into your very own.
Oyster stew and chili on Christmas Eve? Only your family has corn chowder and lentil soup instead?
Huge family gathering at Grandma’s house? Only grandma’s spending her winters in Boca, so you all meet in February in a motel in central Iowa somewhere.
Sledding party in the bitter cold? Only you live in Pheonix and you haven’t seen snow in a decade and have no wish to see the cold nasty stuff. So you grill steaks on the deck instead and listen to the coyotes howl.
Midnight Mass with the whole family? Only your church has eight Christmas Eve services and ‘midnight mass’ starts at 5:30.
Clam bake on the beach in Cancun. (I could live with that one)

My family, my own children, have started having an appetizer dinner on Christmas Eve. A huge improvement over getting together to watch Die Hard. (Yes, it’s a Christmas movie. So is Lethal Weapon. What can I saw, my husband is a rebel. Like – It’s a Wonderful Life would kill him. That’s a nice movie!!!!!!)
I put a stop to that when my husband realized The Long Kiss Goodnight was a Christmas movie. Gad, that movie makes Die Hard look like an episode of Little House on the Prairie. We are NOT watching Geena Davis as an assassin for our Christmas tradition.

We usually have the huge extended family gathering on Christmas Day at my mom’s house, sometimes we move it to the weekend before or after Christmas.
How about you? What’s your unique twist on Christmas. Think about it before you say you don’t have one! You probably do, even if it seems traditional to you.

Everyone who leaves a comment about their family Christmas gets their name in the drawing for a copy of Cowboy Christmas
I’m giving away a second copy from my newsletter,

Just for Laughs.

Which should go out next week. Subscribe to that by clicking on the words Just for Laughs to get your name in that drawing. If you’re already a subscriber, then you’re name’s already in, no need to subscribe again under a secret identity.