Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “The Gift of a Child,” Holiday Fiction by Donna K. Weaver

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day 19, Book 19

The Gift of a child

 

Recently widowed Rae Cavanaugh just survived the worst birthday of her life. She and her two young children must now face a holiday season filled with so many reminders of what they’ve lost. But when a coworker who’s raising his young nephew moves next door, Rae discovers that the support of a good friend, and the gift of a child, can bring back some of the joy of the season.

*A Novelette*

Excerpt

“Text me when you’re done.” Rae turned with the stroller, but Dylan put his hand over hers on the handle.

“Isn’t Beth going to get her picture taken too?” he asked.

“She’s too young. He’ll scare her.”

“Not if she’s with the Littles. Come on. Do you really want to have a picture of Preston but not one of Beth?”

“Well . . .” Rae hadn’t considered that.

“When she’s sixteen, she’ll want to know why you have a picture of Preston with Santa and not one of her.” He arched a brow, his head tilted. “She’ll play the you love him more than me card.”

Rae frowned, but he had a point.

“Baby, do you want to go with Preston?” When Beth nodded, Rae heaved out a breath and stepped back so Dylan could take hold of the stroller.

“Okay, guys, each of you put a hand over mine.” They did, and the four of them strode toward the Santa Claus line.

Rae’s eyes prickled. That man had been Heaven-sent. She’d worried how she could ever fill the hole that Mike’s death had left in her children’s lives, and then Dylan had shown up.

Purchase The Gift of a Child Now ~ Universal Amazon Link

About Donna K. Weaver

Award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer girl.

Connect with the Author

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From the AlzAuthors Blog: Meet Tamara Prosper, author of “The Elders,” a Collection of Short Stories

Elders are not merely old people. Regardless of their current condition, at heart they’re still parents, spouses, teachers, veterans, housekeepers, artists, entrepreneurs, farmers, neighbors, caregivers, and friBy Tamara Prosper

Ever since I can remember trying to navigate through grief, frustration, anxiety, anger and sometimes even joy, writing has been the compass that lead me to equilibrium. Seven months after uprooting my family by moving from our home in a major southern city to take what I expected to be my dream job as the Administrator of a beautiful nursing home in rural North Carolina, I was exhausted, frustrated, angry and depressed. My children had quickly adjusted to our new environment. My husband seemed to be moving forward in his business endeavors. He and the children appeared to be quite content with everything except for the fact that I spent very little time with them. My friends lived far away and I had little time to make new friends so I poured my feelings into journals.

When saddened by the unexpected death of a resident, I wrote. When I was frustrated by demands from the corporate office, I wrote. When angered by the unrealistic expectations of resident’s family members and when my character was questioned, I wrote. When my staff was mistreated and when we celebrated our first deficiency-free annual state survey, I wrote. I wrote of individuals that I worked with before moving to North Carolina. I wrote my imagined explanations for the exasperating behavior of certain residents and their loved ones. I placidly withstood and gently addressed blatantly disrespectful behavior from a resident’s family member, then filled pages with the fury that had been veiled behind my calm demeanor. Hurt feelings, sweet memories, righteous indignation, joy, sorrow, celebration, dread, and voracious hope flowed from my spirit to my journals.

book cover (1)In nine months I had written and edited more than a dozen stories, finally choosing those that I believed were worthy of sharing with the world. I wanted people to see the humanity of elders and their caregivers. Elders are not merely old people. Regardless of their current condition, at heart they’re still parents, spouses, teachers, veterans, housekeepers, artists, entrepreneurs, farmers, neighbors, caregivers, and friends. They want what everyone wants – to enjoy a good meal, to laugh at a funny story, to spend time with loved ones, and to contribute to the world. Caregivers, whether professionals or responsible loved ones, are among the unrecognized heroes of our society. They give far more than they receive, simply because they know it must be done. By sharing varying perspectives and situations I seek to make these truths known.

By having a glimpse into the lives of The Elders, people may recognize someone they know or have a frame of reference for someone in the future. I want people to feel a connection with The Elders so they will empathize with and advocate for the elders in their communities.

Purchase The Elders

About the Author

Tamara G. ProsperI’m an Aging Services Professional with a sincere love for older adults and a resolute desire to see them thrive throughout all stages of life. I work directly with elders in organizations that support their care. I share as much information as possible with as many elders and caregivers as possible, to prepare, inform, educate and encourage them as they experience aging. I’m thankful to have received very positive feedback from readers.

Connect with Tamara Prosper

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For more extraordinary books about Alzheimer’s and dementia please visit the AlzAuthors Bookstore.  Reposted with permission of AlzAuthors, the global community of authors and readers whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s and dementia. I am a co-founder and admin.

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From the AlzAuthors Blog: Jessica Bryan Returns with “The Mighty Ant – An Anthology of Short Stories for Seniors”

_just like the little ant, whose size is disproportionate to its strength, so can stories have strong impact, regardless of their length._
By Jessica Bryan

I am an author of over 28 books who has always shared my stories with my mother. Sadly, Mom suffers from Alzheimer’s, and as the disease has progressed she no longer comprehends more intricate plots, nor can she focus on longer, more detailed stories.  As a consequence, I began reading short stories to her. I noticed that after reading something more easily comprehended, there was often something in the tale that sparked a memory and conversation.  “Do you remember gardening?” I asked her after reading about a gardener. It brought a sweet reminiscent moment that included smiles and even laughter. That spawned my idea for a book of short stories specifically dedicated to the elderly with cognitive issues and their caregivers who often search for activities that will provide quality time with their loved ones. Continue reading

The Story Behind “Ino’s Love,” BookWorks Featured Book of the Week

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I was both thrilled and surprised to learn that BookWorks, the Self-Publishers Association, named my short story “Ino’s Love” their Book of the Week.

I was surprised it was selected because it’s not a new or current release. It was  published on Amazon in 2013,* and, although it has gotten excellent reviews, it doesn’t get much traction. I promote it during Christmas, obviously, and also during my annual Christmas in July events.  But it’s a niche story so it spends a lot of dormant time in the basement of the Amazon bookstore. Still, Ino is a treasured character of mine and her story is one of my favorites.

Book description:iPhone Ino

Sometimes the people who love us best are not family.

Elderly Ino prepares a delicious Italian Christmas  feast for her successful CEO son, but when he’s too busy to spend the holiday with his mother she shares her dinner and gifts with her home health aide. A heartwarming story about giving and forgiveness.

21 pages. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I don’t remember what inspired me to create the characters of Ino and Ruby, but it must have been work-related because I was working as a hospital case manager at the time. My days were filled helping patients and their families find ways to remain comfortable and cared for at home when faced with long-term illness or disability. I have a soft spot for patients like Ino, and respect those who care for them with integrity and help them to maintain their dignity. I wanted to share their story, the story millions of our elderly citizens and their home health aides live each day. Continue reading