Jackie's Forget Me Nots

No vase can overflow if you never fill it up.

My neighbor gave me a Turkey a few days ago. I wasn’t planning on doing any cooking because it is a lot of work, so instead of wasting a good Turkey I decided to cook it for Christmas even though I am spending it alone this year.

My boyfriend of 10 years passed away two weeks ago, and I am content to be by myself with memories of him, that is all. I’m not in a very festive mood and probably wouldn’t enjoy myself if I was away from the nest anyway. Christmas will never be the same without him. He was my rock and shining star, and I miss him terribly.

I brined and stuffed my turkey and put a cheesecloth soaked in butter and wine on top before putting it into the oven, just like Martha Stewart. This may be the 3rd time I ever roasted my own turkey for Christmas. I did exactly as the video instructed and it turned out superbly magnificent!

Right. On to the Turkey. I stuffed it according to Martha Stewart’s recipe as well. But doesn’t it look nice? I mean cmon. I know it will be juicy because that is what the brining is for.

I stuck the bird in a solution of water, salt, sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, thyme and whatever else I could think of that would be good and left it for 24 hours in the fridge.

This morning I prepared the stuffing and the turkey for roasting. I should have taken pictures as I went along but I forgot. The cheesecloth looks exactly like what you see in the video link. It came out of the oven around 2:30 pm so I will let the turkey rest for the same amount of time while I make the gravy.

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I only wish Phil were here to share it with. I still can’t believe he’s gone.

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Phil“I was a cold and heartless person, but the moment I saw you and I touched you, that changed. Now the light and the love inside me for you will never end, and you’ve made me the man I am. I thank you, my love, you’ve proven to me there is the world worth living in .”-Phil McIntyre

“Your love is a beautiful gift that is kept in a special place in my heart.”

It was Thursday morning at 1:30 AM when the ambulance brought Phil and me to Emergency Foothills. I stood beside him like I was going to cry because he was dying, I stuck out my tongue a couple of times to his face, and he said “Don’t” then I asked, “Why?” He said, “Because we are supposed to act like adults.”
It was December 8th.

In Emerg, you were then poked and prodded like a pin cushion, but you braved the needles knowing how much you disliked them.

The doctors were very helpful, and I will never forget that one doctor for being so kind. I made sure they all treated you nice and gentle in fact. They stuck a catheter in you which made you yell, and a saline drip that made you sleep in short increments because you were so restless and kept waking up and taking the finger clamp off. You wanted to get up. But you were delirious and hallucinating, and you said you had to go for lunch. ♥ But your legs were so swollen from edema you couldn’t walk! I stayed with you until around seven o’clock or maybe it was eight that morning. I intended to come back that night after I had gotten sleep and cleaned up your blankets and tidied up the place. My back was hurting and I just couldn’t. I am so sorry for not staying with you.
Earlier, when the ambulance came to our house, you could barely breathe, and one of the paramedics was very mean and impatient. I warned him if he was going to have that attitude he couldn’t come in Lol, What could I do. The stretcher wouldn’t fit in the front hallway to the living room because the damn computer was in the way. So they lifted you up with a blanket, and you kept apologizing for saying ‘Fuck.’ You didn’t have to apologize, but you did because you are a good man like that. You were so sweet to everyone you met. I will never forget those moments we had together. The two weeks before being admitted to the hospital, you could barely sleep, with the coughing and the legs and God knew what else. Every chance you got to sleep it started the coughing, but you kept on smoking. You chewed Fishermen’s Friends, a cough drop like they were candy. I cannot imagine the pain that came with cancer. Except you liked pain and were afraid of nothing. The swelling in your legs made it impossible for you to walk and it hurt to see you in pain so much. I will cherish the times we had together always.
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“Jackie is one beautiful woman, and I can’t picture being without her. She doesn’t understand exactly what she does to make me the man I am and neither do I, but I am happy that she is in my life and I will never change it for nothing. If anybody has any doubts, just listen to the hair of the dog by Nazareth.”- Phil McIntyre

Remembering washing your feet and trying to help you sit on the couch.

I’d like to believe I alleviated the pain in your legs somewhat. Brushing your hair was a joy, and you liked it. It took your mind off things. I wanted to rub you all over with oil, but you didn’t let anyone touch you much because it hurt, not even me, sadly. I couldn’t afford your medication, but I went to get what you needed for the blood clot anyway. It wasn’t cheap, but the swelling in your left leg came down a bit, so the pills did help and made you feel a tiny bit better. You expressed some concern in the event you ever bled to death. I was concerned about your eliminations, getting you to use a Depend (diaper) or some pot to sit on. Evidently, the swelling started up again. You didn’t even last 21 days, but you shouldn’t have stopped taking your pills twice a day or be overly concerned about how expensive they were! You only took one a day for risk of running out of them. I gave you a lot of grief over having to pay for the medication, and I’m sorry for that. Sorry for being mean. I would’ve liked to see you walk to the bathroom but you couldn’t. You didn’t eat much, but I kept feeding you. I didn’t like to see you that way; suffer I mean, just like I didn’t like seeing you drink and drunk. You couldn’t breathe after smoking nearly the whole carton of cigarettes I bought. You waited for Lyla that Tuesday to come over and visit but she never did. Of course, she didn’t need to pay you back if you were dying would she?! And I had the most beautiful time with you that day too and on Wednesday. You’d suffered a lot over the course of weeks up to your death. You’d quit drinking approximately two months ago. You worked up until you couldn’t walk anymore.

On November 3rd, the Calgary Housing Inspector was coming, and we cleaned the house. You washed the bathroom floor and took the hair out of the first hallway carpet by hand. You started breathing hard, and I probably should have insisted you take it easier but with our recent computer debacle we had to get a new operating system that caused us a certain amount of frustration hey. You thought I was mad at you but no. It was the computer, and we both hated that it caused us to argue and fight so much by cursing and swearing “the computer doesn’t fucking work!” but I made you chuckle. I would have cleaned the house myself, honestly. I don’t know where you went when the inspector came. I think you might’ve gone into work that day but you came home early, and I was always glad to see you back during the day. The inspector told us we needed to fill out those forms, including you in the rent, subsequently increasing it and a lot of bullshit we’ve been through before.

The swelling in your legs never got any better, and you had Lyla take you to the Rockyview about two weeks before you passed away.

You discharged yourself against everyone’s wish including mine. I am sorry and regret being mean about not wanting to let you die in our place. I guess I was afraid of living in the same place you died. But I regret not allowing you to now. I knew you were dying and I’m glad you told me. Liver and Lung cancer got the best of you and depression I think. You didn’t want to live anymore is what you said. I was upset and mad when you told me you were going to Winnipeg. I wanted you to stay in the hospital, but you came back home to me 🙂

“Mr. Romantic’s back! I had heard this song before I met Jackie, but it meant nothing until after I met Jackie. I love the lady more than I love my own life and she deserves every bit of my love.”- Phil McIntyre about the song Amazed by Lonestar

I love you too. I needed to hear you say you loved me every day but in the end, I was your best friend, and I could not ask for more. I didn’t allow you to drink as much when you drank with Linda or Carson Otter because I hate alcohol/beer and what it does to people. Last year when my mother died, you were experiencing weakness in the legs. I don’t know what that was about, but you had to crawl to the washroom. Symptoms caused from liver disease? Edema was starting already a year ago. You laughed, played, worked hard. Who knew there was anything wrong with you? Nobody else knew. For reasons I don’t understand you kept it to yourself and dealt with it silently. When I die, I want to do the same thing. Unassisted medically. There was nothing the doctors could do about it. You could have stopped drinking the time you slipped and fell on the ice or after drinking heavily in Bowness. You drank hard and worked hard and played hard. But thank you for calling me that night from Carson Otter’s place. You paid for a taxi, so I could come and see you. You were very drunk, and I was so happy to see you again. I stayed with you until you sobered and then we went home together. I think it was after Linda died we started to watch Game of Thrones. You couldn’t stop drinking, and we fought because of it. You kept working at Trail even though it wasn’t great. You quit there and went to the other depot. It was the stress of a new job and things just got worse. Your working buddy /Uber driver had to drive you back and forth to work every day and more and more days off which meant more time to spend with me. I don’t know why you thought you had to keep working. You were living free, and you weren’t expected to pay for anything, but we both knew we didn’t have long before Calgary Housing booted you out and that was unfair and killing me. I didn’t care. They’d have to kick me out or kill me before I let you go to some other ungodly place again. Honestly Phil. I would have gone wherever you went, but you didn’t want that. You couldn’t leave me either thankfully. I am not happy with the choices you made and never will be ok again. I wanted to take care of you, Phil! Yes, you didn’t have to be embarrassed about getting help with going to the bathroom. I was jealous of everyone even the moon. I wanted you to want me to be the one to help you, but you got angry with me, and I don’t blame you. I blame myself. I am sorry.

When I came back on Friday morning, I learned they transferred you to a special treatment unit on the other side of the hospital. When I found you, I was so shocked to see your mother and Shelley at the foot of your bed! How did they get here from Winnipeg so quick?! You had the hospital call them for you. It is what you wanted. At least your mother and sister were with you. It was a bit of an unwelcome for me, I admit. Your mom took things out on me and I just couldn’t. She was angry at me for not picking up the phone, so I walked away 😦 Things changed so fast but the instant I saw them, I knew this was not going the way I had hoped. I broke down in front of a nurse because I figured they were going to stop me from seeing you and I cried the whole visit. They spent all 3 1/2 days with you. I was crying a lot for myself. They had all the right to be there, and she envied the time I had with you. I am sure your visits with them were pleasant. Mine were strenuous. You used to tell me “You can’t let things bother you.” I’m sorry Phil, but things bother me OKAY?! I haven’t exactly been shown any better because I’ve been hurt too many times. I get mad, and it’s embarrassing, and I hate being that way, but whatever W/ E. Abuse bothers me, and I let things get to me. I have had enough crap from everyone. Nobody had what I need except you. You gave me strength and was my rock hard solid. I miss you so much. I miss you terribly, and the only person to offer any condolences to me was my cousin out of all individuals, on Facebook. I deactivated your account. All condolences were to Shelley. I had to say goodbye and let you go, and you did. Saying goodbye is always hard to do, and I felt pressured. One of the last things you said to me was “there is no fun in this world.”

You were the only friend I had. We had each other. If only we could have had each other longer because a decade is not enough for me. I need at least five decades. I need you like nobody else does. You are all I ever could hope or ask for indeed. There is no one else that will ever take your place. No. I want to remember you, sweetheart. I am grieving. It has been over 12 hours since you died and I have to go to bed now. I am writing. Your support was friendly. I am grateful to you for coming into my life. I am happy to have known you. You are a great guy. Alcohol is depressing when all is said and done.
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“Jackie, thank you so much for everything you do for me . I will always love you and I will always be there for you no matter what. I ♥ YOU MY ANGEL!”-Philip McIntyre

I love you, babe.

Night babe.

You died on December 11th @ 7:47 AM.

To see you in the ever after is but a breath away

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Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1) byI thought Blood Kiss was Ok. It was not as good as the Black Dagger Brotherhood IMO considering it is in the same universe. Butch didn’t quite sound himself and I never cared for Marissa and those were the only other couple from the BDB who had a role in Blood Kiss. Vishous and Doc Jane, Mary and Rhage were also present. Abalone the aristocrat in the Glymera is the King’s right-hand man and his daughter, Paradise is the leading character. She isn’t impressed with being a woman of the Aristocracy, meaning she isn’t your typical stereotype to be treated the way woman are treated. Her passion is for fighting and she enrolls in the BDB training program, along with 60 others. She was the last one standing and therefore named the Primus. Excellent for her and her dad should be proud, except he wouldn’t have seriously allowed her to join the training program save for Paradise telling him a lie like she wasn’t planning on fighting the wars against the Lessers.

Another storyline was that of Butch and Marissa. Safeplace was for domestic violence and abuse cases mostly all women. Marissa witnessed an injured female badly beaten and in trauma but she couldn’t get help from the brothers who were all in a meeting so she phones her brother Havers. Their relationship hadn’t been a good one so she kinda had to force herself to ask him for a favor. If he would look after the injured female. I didn’t care about the injured female but I suppose the story ended on a good note in some ways but meh.

The true proverbial hero of Blood Kiss is Craeg. For the sole reason of rescuing a damsel in distress the daughter of the Glymera, Paradise. We see their romance and downright lusty eroticism between these two, that much was to be expected. Yay. They are both tough characters and I find no qualms about them. They make a good addition to the BDB. I mean with Paradise, even though she is an aristocrat, I warmed up to her more than I did to Xhex.

Peyton, I seem to recall from the BDB but I would have to go back and read The Beast or Lover At Last to remember him. He was Paradises’ best friend. I’m sure we will hear more about Axe and Novo, who were two others who made it through the BDB’s training program. It was a really tough course and out of 60 participants, only 7 made it.[spoiler]Btw, Anslam was the bad guy[/spoiler]

[about-author]

I use MagicLinks for all my ready-to-shop product links. Check it out: https://www.magiclinks.org/rewards/referral/jackiebrie/

These are the 5 items that I received with my Ipsy Glam Bag this month. Ipsy is a subscription service that delivers name brand product samples each month for only $10. You will get to try new things and fall in love with the new makeup.

Originally posted on Jackie’s Bookbytes 

I love Eggnog! When I pour myself a cup,  it’s an immediate pleasure. The rich, thick, creamy substance made with cloves and nutmeg puts me in a trance until the last drop, and I close my eyes in ecstasy. I am not vegan but this replacement raw healthy version is something to consider.

Holiday Nog

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds, soaked for 3 hours
¼ cup cashews, soaked for 3 hours
2½ cups filtered water
3 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
8 dates, soaked and pits removed
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
? teaspoon Himalayan salt


Directions:

1. Blend the nuts and water, and strain out nut pulp using a nut milk bag.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the nut milk and blend until creamy smooth.

Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg on top, and enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

For the 12 days of Raw Christmas Cookies, click here 

Mama’s Losin’ ItWriter’s Workshop is a weekly opportunity for you to participate in a writing activity that will hopefully inspire you to be creative and keep writing while connecting with other bloggers.

I’m thirsty! Share a holiday drink recipe you love!

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” ~Peg Bracken

My favorite thing about the holidays is….. all the high-quality chocolate that comes with it, the presents, seeing all the Christmas lights and yes even the snow making it white. Nothing says Christmas like snow- even snowmen in winter.

I like Starbucks yummy peppermint mochas. I just had one today. I like sending and receiving Christmas cards, putting up decorations and just about everything about it. I almost forgot the music and the movies. Well, some of it anyway …I’m tired of the old movies like a miracle on 34th street and the many versions of A Christmas Carol, although they are still a classic favorite.

How many times can you watch C.S Lewis’ the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? That show was on TV the other night, and I absolutely love Narnia winter scenes.

Last but not least,……..the Advent of BABY JESUS! Mary and Joseph too and well I can’t forget the Magi as well as the Star of Bethlehem and the Angels.

The least favorite? People__drunken, debase, unkind, greedy, stingy, unloving, mean, grumpy people

scrooge_for_coverA Christmas Carol: 2. Bah Humbug

https://read.amazon.ca/kp/card?asin=B018O3CTR6&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_BMrrybM0CRAH1&tag=jackiewb-20

[bctt tweet=”Six-holiday romances, from sexy to sweet, prove love is better on the Naughty List.” username=”joliejackie”]
A Christmas Maggie by Tiffany Reisz
All Daniel wanted for Christmas was to spoil his new girlfriend, Anya, have sex under the tree, and ignore all his old heartaches. But the ghosts of Christmas past aren’t so easily forgotten, especially when Maggie, his late wife, shows up to remind him why the past should stay in the past, and why his Christmases-future could be the best of his life if he can finally let himself live and love in this Christmas present. (A Christmas Maggie is the final story in the Daniel trio from the Original Sinners series, beginning with The Gift and followed by Daniel Part Two.)

Christmassy by Alexa Piper
When taotien Valerian and witchling Cora get together, sparks fly. But on the way to visit Cora’s family for Christmas, they encounter a supernatural predator that will test not only their individual powers and abilities but also their connection to one another.

My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice
If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most hard-hearted bachelor in Wyoming? A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover the unbounded pleasure and a hunger for original discovery.

In the Doghouse by Elizabeth Black
Nicky and Angela had just begun to add a little kink to their lives when caught up in the influence of his dudebros, he forgot their anniversary and broke Angela’s heart. Angela wants Nicky’s strong arms around her again, but first she wants him to fight for her. Can one night, a paddle, and some restraints bridge the gap between them?

Winter’s Daughter by Doug Blakeslee
A child of the Fae—bound to winter and a promise given to her chosen mate. She must claim him before time runs out and all she loves in the world falls to ruin. A child of mortals—forgotten and discarded by the world, then torn from the most amazing woman he’s ever met. Trapped in the sort of fae-tale that rarely ends in happily ever after, are they strong enough to defy the odds and find love?

Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
As Father Time’s son, Zeit must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed, and they’re after his mortal, Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he saved her—and why he keeps doing it. Following an unlucky year, Hannah needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets are near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.

Owen Grayson is reminiscent about how he failed to protect his relationship with Gin and how awful he feels for betraying her. Sitting in Northern Aggression with a friend, He wants to redeem himself and doesn’t know how to go about it with Gin, until he overhears a giant and a dwarf in the men’s bathroom. They were talking about Gin and how they were going to kill her.
For the love of Gin, Owen commits to taking these two guys out to try to stop them.
Owen feels guilty for ever believing Salina Dubois, and it steers him in the right direction to make things right with Gin again.

a Detective Shelley Caldwell “Hot Christmas” Novella

[scroll-box]The song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the middle of the Cold War. Now Christmas is just around the corner, and Shelley and Jake are in a cold war of their own…

Chapter One

Four days before Christmas

Sleet hit Chicago like an icy whip early this afternoon, the Christmas gift that just kept giving. I love snowy Christmases, but getting pelted in the face with icy needles was sheer misery, reminding me of my current relationship with my live-in love, Jake DeAtley.

Putting him out of mind so that I could concentrate on the job, I carefully negotiated the ice-laden pavement and took a quick look at the Uniforms in charge of crowd control, the EMT guy at the body and the gathering spectator herd outside the yellow tape taking their damn selfies with the dead guy behind them.

“Nice one for the holidays.” Detective Mike Norelli shook his grizzled head. “Great last minute Christmas cards.” He glanced back at me. “C’mon, Caldwell, let’s get this over with. I actually got a hot date tonight.”

“Right,” I muttered, wondering what kind of a woman would go for the sarcastic cop. “I should rush to the scene and kill myself, too.”

Norelli snorted as he ducked under the Crime Scene tape. “That’s what you get for wearing killer boots.”

I wasn’t a fashionista like my twin sister Silke, but I had my moments. These knee length suede boots with high heels I’d seen in Westbrook’s windows had done me in. Or would do me in, I thought as I slid toward the dead man in the middle of the street. I regained control just in time to prevent myself from tripping over him.

“There’s the reason he’s dead,” Norelli groused, pointing to the tree on his other side. “Too into the Christmas spirit to get out of the way of traffic.”

“Nobody’s ever accused you of having too much spirit.”

But some kind of spirit was making my hackles rise. Sorrow…mourning…despair. A faint whisper in my mind froze me where I stood. This psychic thing had started between Silke and me when we were little kids and had grown into our being able to talk to each other without actually speaking. Now Jake and I could read each other’s minds, as well. Too bad I couldn’t change his when it came to Christmas. Whatever was going on here at the scene hit me in the gut. I took a good look through the gathered crowd but saw no one in tears or appearing distraught. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was on the edge, no matter how much I wanted to believe otherwise. I recognized woo-woo the instant it hit me.

“So did someone really run him down on purpose?” I asked the EMT, who was kneeling by the body.

“Don’t know for sure.” He got to his feet. He pointed to a small knot of teenagers behind him. “Those girls witnessed it. At least one of them picked up footage on her phone.”

“I’ll go talk to them,” Norelli grunted.

He left me staring down at the poor middle-aged dead guy spread out next to a gorgeous pine tree unlike any I’d ever seen before. There was something magical about it, because just looking at it warmed me inside. I steeled myself against showing any emotion, though, because there was nothing positive about his death. I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t have the proper respect. Poor guy probably had been bringing the Christmas tree home for his wife and kids. Oh, Lord, I hoped I wasn’t the one who’d have to share the bad news with his family. Worst part of the job.

“The county medical examiner’s van is on his way to take him to the morgue,” the EMT told me. “Ah, crud, I forgot to call Streets and Sanitation to remove the tree.”

They would not only remove the beautiful Christmas tree, they would destroy it, run it through their grinder to make mulch. Something kept me from wanting that to happen, at least not while it was still alive. The van to take the body away was already pulling up to the crime scene.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “You take care of the victim. I’ll take care of the tree.”

And then I would have to deal with Jake when I brought it home.

***

“I thought we agreed on no Christmas tree,” Jake said the moment he laid eyes on it.

He wore nothing but an angry expression, the black diamond in his right ear and a towel low around his hips. I swallowed hard and tried not to admire what I couldn’t have. Not an early riser unless a little something erotic was involved—and there had been none of that in my reality since I’d insisted on decorating my half of the apartment for the holiday—he’d been dead asleep when I’d left for work that morning. Not literally dead, despite the vampire blood he’d inherited from his mother.

Sarge and Cadet were already circling the tree, no doubt wondering how long it would be before they could climb it.

“No!” I said a little too harshly. Sarge fell back on his haunches, his expression hurt and disbelieving, and scaredy cat Cadet ran behind the couch.

“I’m waiting for your supposed explanation.”

“I caught another woo-woo case. Really bad vibes.”

Jake rolled his eyes. “That’s your explanation for bringing home a Christmas tree against your sworn promise?”

“I’m telling you, there was something weird going on. I felt it right away.” Of course that’s not why I’d saved the tree from the chipper. “All right, then if you don’t believe me, don’t think of it as a Christmas tree. Think of it as a beautiful mountain pine that didn’t deserve to be destroyed while it was still alive. It’s just here temporarily to make the apartment smell nice.”

“Right. Justify it all, why don’t you?”

“I didn’t do this to hurt you, Jake. I won’t even decorate it. I promise.”

His dark gaze cut through the room, half of which was already decorated with boughs of holly and strings of lights and candles everywhere. I’d set out bowls of ornaments, most of which I’d bought one at a time, each with special meaning for me. Plus there were those from Silke’s and my childhood. “Santa” (Dad) had always brought a few for each of us along with our other presents.

“By the way,” Jake added, “that ‘not a Christmas tree’ is on my side of the room.”

The barren side.

Grunting, I tried lifting the tree to appease him, but I swore it had gotten heavier every time I moved it. Or maybe I just needed the meal I’d never gotten around to eating. “I suppose you wouldn’t consider helping me.”

In answer, he crossed his arms over his bared chest and raised one dark eyebrow.

My heart fluttering despite the tension between us, I did the best I could, dragging it, inching it along, finally leaning it against the wall next to the couch. At least I didn’t have to go down to the storage area and find the stand. I’d brought it up with the rest of my decorations, also with no help from Jake. How the heck was I supposed to lift such a heavy tree into the stand myself?

Jake and I stared at each other for a moment, and I swore I read regret in his expression before he turned away.

“I’ll be in the shower,” he growled as he made for the bathroom.

Normally, that would have included an invitation to join him.

What exactly did he regret? For disappointing me? Or because he couldn’t shake the memories of a horrific childhood when none of his Christmases had been anything to celebrate?

The mother who’d loved him as best she could had been pregnant with Jake when she’d been turned by a vampire against her will. Amazing that he’d turned out pretty normal other than having tremendous speed, strength and hearing. And an appetite for very rare, very bloody beef—couldn’t forget that one. From what he’d told me, he’d been as normal a kid as was possible, but his mother’s uncontrollable urge to feed on human blood came even before his needs at times. Definitely before Christmas. So after he’d spent holiday after holiday alone, no one to take him to Christmas services at midnight, no one to read him a Christmas story or to sing a Christmas carol with him, he’d given up celebrating, both religious and secular.

But now that we had found each other, had fallen in love, had bought a condo and moved in together, I’d convinced myself he would be open to something with such meaning for me. Until our Dad had died on the job, he’d made every Christmas special for Silke and me. I honored his memory every holiday. I’d told Jake that. I’d hoped that he would at least try to celebrate with me.

I’d been wrong.

And too stubborn to let it go.

So I’d come up with a compromise. “My half” of every room in our new condo would be decorated as I wanted. Same with “his half.” I’d thought that maybe, just maybe, he would loosen up a bit. Instead, while he’d agreed I could hang my lights and set out my candles and ornaments on my side, the biting part of the bargain was that there was to be no Christmas tree. I had reluctantly agreed.

Now this.

Saddened, I ran a hand along a branch of pine needles and it struck me again even harder.

Sorrow…mourning…despair.

I stood there for a moment staring at the branches, trying to discern exactly what was going on. The depth of feeling didn’t let up until I let go. And then I realized I hadn’t gotten the woo-woo from someone in the crowd earlier.

I’d gotten it from the tree itself.[/scroll-box]

My Thoughts

I just finished Do You Hear What I Hear in the Love, Christmas Collection and I loved it! I appreciated the paranormal element in this novella. It was a very well written story by anyone’s standards. If you like paranormal fantasy, you will like this. Mind communication, cute, lovely fairies, and two cats in the yard! Sarge and Cadet. Also, Jake DeAtley, whose mother became a vampire when she was pregnant with him, so that’s exciting! I liked the romance as well. Their troubles weren’t so far away from real life. Shelley and Jake had their differences when it came to celebrating Christmas but who doesn’t have their arguments over family Traditions and such things? I enjoyed this story, and that is why I wanted to share it with you. You can’t find this story anywhere else but in the Love, Christmas Collection.

[bctt tweet=”Every title in the set is from a well-known Christmas song, that will put a song in your heart.” via=”no”]

Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has had 98 novels with eight publishers and more than 7 million books in print. All but two of her Patricia Rosemoor novels are romantic suspense or romantic thrillers. She also writes a less pulse-pounding combination of romance and suspense with a dash of humor with a partner as Lynn Patrick. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

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