Sunday, September 27, 2009

Guest Blogger Allie Pleiter and the chance to win her new book!

Introducing Allie Pleiter...

Joining me today is Allie Pleiter. She is the author of the Love Inspired Kentucky Corners Series, which I like to think of as the Bluegrass Series (Bluegrass Hero, Bluegrass Courtship, Bluegrass Blessings, Bluegrass Christmas) in addition to many other books. She has agreed to be a guest blogger today and share with us some of her favorite Christmas memories. Here is Allie...

An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com or her knitting blog at www.DestiKNITions.blogspot.com




MY REVIEW:
I have not read the other books in Allie's series, but from this one alone I have gathered what an amazing community she has built in this little town. Great characters (with Mary being the new girl on the block in this book) stand out in addition to some great plot lines. A charming book that will make you want to get all of Allie's Kentucky books!

Back Cover Copy:

BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS

#4 In the KENTUCKY CORNERS Series

ISBN 13# 978-0-373-87556-6


An Old Fashioned Christmas...

That’s what led new believer Mary Thorpe to start over in quaint Middleburg, Kentucky. As director of the church’s Christmas pageant, Mary’s job is to bring the townspeople together, to remind them what the season is really about. But everyone is all riled up over one very handsome man: the man daring to run against Middleburg’s popular long-standing mayor. Mac MacCarthy wants change. Mary wants things to stay as they are. Is there a happy medium? Both Mac and Mary are in for one very big Christmas surprise.


A word from Allie...

Christmas memories linger with such strength. We remember the gift gone horribly wrong as vividly as that wondrous “just what I wanted” present. Most of our most precious Christmas memories center around gifts or experiences we had as children or with children, and I think that’s because they retain the wonder we all wish we still possessed.


My very favorite gift wasn’t the “must have” gift that shapes Bluegrass Christmas’ story. I think most of us realize those fad gifts fade as quickly as they come. As I examined my Christmas memories, I was delighted to discover my two favorite gifts--both ones I received as a child--were handmade. It helped me remember that I won’t find my ideal holiday at Best Buy--it resides someplace without a gift-card, a layaway plan, or a last-minute 50% off clearance.


When I was in the midst of my Barbie phase, my father evidently stole my Barbie every night after I’d gone asleep and custom fit me a dollhouse. And not just any dollhouse, Dad made me one completely of styrofoam, so that I could cart it all over. What a treasure! We have film of me showing it off to the family camera with all the flourish of a showroom model--precious memories! In my later teen years, I had an obsession with bean-bag frogs (how much more 70’s can you get???). For some wild reason I wanted one with red eyes, and my mother made one for me. I called him Moog, and he was my constant companion through most of my teen years.


I don’t have the dollhouse or Moog; they are lost to history. But now, over thirty years later, I have vivid memories that bring a smile to my face. And that is the real point of gift-giving, isn’t it? Old and tired as the cliche is, it really is the thought that matters.


If only we’d actually learn that lesson, hmm?


Thanks, Allie! Like you I have wonderful memories of my Christmases growing up. I didn't know it at the time, but we didn't always have a lot of money. There is one Christmas that really sticks out in my mind, I think I was about 8 or 9 at the time and we had THE BEST Christmas! I remember specifically that we got a child's size record player (it was blue!) and it played our read along book/records. We used that thing all the time! There were a lot of presents that year and it was great. What I didn't know until just a couple years ago (20 odd years after the fact) is that we weren't even supposed to have a Christmas that year. My parents had no money for presents. Period. So my dad's sisters (my Aunt Becky and Aunt Mary) and their husbands stepped in and bought presents for all 4 of us kids so that we would have a Christmas. And as my mom told me recently, "It was much more than we ever would have gotten you anyway!" I think one of the reasons that sticks out in my mind so much now is not necessarily the presents that they purchased, but the fact that in anonymity my aunts and uncles stepped in and made sure that it would be a Christmas to remember. Isn't that what the spirit of Christmas is really about?

******************************

For a chance to win a copy of Allie's book, leave a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas present has been and when my post comes up with my review of this book, I will announce the winner! But leave your comment here with your email address... good luck!



34 comments:

Abi said...

My brother gave me a jewelry box when I was in JR high. Now in my 40's I still have it.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

kalea_kane said...

My favorite Christmas present came from my son. When I was a single mom, I wanted nothing more than a sewing machine. Because I was a single mom, I couldn't divert funds to this. My son's school has a little Christmas store every year that the children could go to in order to buy inexpensive gifts for their family. That Christmas when my son was 9 years old, he bought me a little sewing kit (the kind you put in your purse). It was the best gift EVER. :) Looks like a wonderful series.

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

Katherine said...

The best Christmas gift I ever received, was the cherry doll trunk that my dad made for me.

kefarley89(@)gmail(.)com

Cherie J said...

My favorite Christmas gift has got to be the Barbie Town House I received when I was a little girl. I played with it all the time and when our house burned down a year later it was toy I missed most.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Wanda said...

My favourite Christmas present was last year's gift of $50 in bookstore gift certificates!
Please enter my name in your draw.
Thanks.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Brenda said...

My favorite Christmas present was a gift my Mother gave to me of a statue of a lady in a follies type of garb. I've had so many comments on her. I really like the statue!

dancealert at aol dot com

Sherrylinn said...

My favorite Christmas gift was from my son. He had a part time job after school, and saved up enough to purchase me a watch similar to the one I lost in a fire the year before.

slcremer at gmail dot com

Carolynn W. said...

My favorite Christmas gift was a guitar my brother gave me. I love to sing and always wanted a guitar to play, so one Christmas my brother surprised me with one. I still have and play it all the time.
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Winning Readings said...

Probably a Barbie house made from cardboard boxes, complete with margarine tubs for bath tubs, handmade little blankets, etc. from my older siblings...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

And we posted about the giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/10/bluegrass-christmas.html

Mark said...

My favorite gift was an Ipod
marcus802001@yahoo.com

Susan Hollaway said...

My favorite Christmas gift was when my newborn was healed. My daughter is almost 14 years old now, but when she was barely 6 weeks old, she became deathly ill. My husband's and my best Christmas gift ever was when God healed her and let us bring her home for her first Christmas!

Linda said...

Favorite Christmas present: china dishes when we had agreed not to overspend. But I'm glad now he did!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Marjorie said...

Just having everyone around is the
most priceless Christmas every.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Aik said...

I think having such a loving and caring family is already the greatest gift of all.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Mystica said...

Waiting for the children to come home from overseas is going to be the biggest christmas gift ever.

Please count me in.

mystica123athotmaildotcom

tanya904 said...

One of my favorite Christmas Gifts was a scrapbook that my mother made for me. It contained copies of all of my baby pictures and pictures from my childhood. It will be a cherished for some time . Thanks for this giveaway
tanyainjville@yahoo.com

Carol said...

As a kid (maybe 10) I delivered newspapers in our small town. One Christmas I received a jigsaw puzzle for "Our Paper-Girl" and it was from my parents! At the time I was really surprised to receive a gift for being their paper-girl. It still makes me smile.
Carol

choco1950(@)netins(dot)net

Jessica said...

I ruby ring that my father gave to me when I was a teenager.
jessmy13@yahoo.com

rubynreba said...

My best gift was a mother's necklace my husband had made for me. Very special!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Hope said...

One of my favorite Christmas gifts was when I got my first laptop!
onepilgrim86(at)yahoo.com

Charity L. said...

Not sure if this is still open but mine was seeing some special friends near Christmas. A very wonderful gift:)
esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Martha A. said...

I have not gotten alot of Christmas presents, but I think some of my favorites have been the ones I use all the time, my knife set and a hand made rug.....but I know the one that was the most fun was the key chain that you whistled for to find your lost keys!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Cheryl said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in this contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Jennifer said...

Best gift was my new baking sheets! I finally got to get rid of the rusty old ones!

Buttons and Bows said...

My favorite Christmas when I was a child, I got a stereo for my own room. I remember listening to Delta dawn over and over and over again.

I was in the sixth grade.

I have tried to find When your post comes up with the review of this book, but I am either dumb or I just do not see it posted. I have searched your website and read this post.
Maybe I am crazy, because I did not see it in anybody elses post either.

mommiesgotfivechildren at hotmail dot com

Joshlin said...

My favorite Christmas gift came when my Hubby asked me to marry him in 2002. I think of our life together now as the gift he gave me then.

savingmomssanity at gmail dot com

debbiejackson said...

please enter me

Kerrie said...

I have 3 boys and I always love the Christmas presents with their hand prints or pictures
kerriekg@yahoo.com

Linda Kish said...

When I was 13 my father gave me a simulated star sapphire ring that I still have and it fits (I am now 60).

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

sunnymum said...

I got a blue stuffed kitten when I was a kid that became my best friend. He looks more like a blue bear now that the tail has fallen off.
cbeargie(at) yahoo.com

Virginia C said...

The title of this book, "Bluegrass Christmas", just makes me smile : )

My blue, full-sized Western Auto ladies bicycle is one of the best gifts I've ever received! I was always tall and big for my age, so I outgrew my kid's bike earlier than usual. Royal blue with a front basket and a double rear basket, streamers on the handles and whitewall tires! Best bike ever, and I still have her!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

My sister and I got matching baby beds for our dolls. Many many hours of play!

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Janna said...

And the winner is...

sunnymum!

Janna said...

And the winner is...

sunnymum!