Sunday, December 16, 2012

Secret Santa Blog Hop!

Wow, is that guy hot, or what? I'd love to hop with him! Or on him.  Ahem.  Please continue to find out how to win, win, win! 

The grand prize for participation is a Kindle Fire loaded with wonderful books. I’m sharing below how to maximize your chances to win.
There are THREE WAYS to get more entries for the drawing. One for following my blog. One for leaving a comment and another for answering my question.
 You’ll want to link back to Blog Hop Central to gather up lots of chances for those prizes, and that’s here:


When I was a kid, I was poor. Dirt poor. I only remember a time or two that there were presents, and never a Christmas tree. We spent most of our winters in Phoenix, or I think my dad would have cut one. I don’t know. My parents don’t put a lot into holidays. Never have.
They supplied horses for two guest ranches, which just happened to border Scottsdale—a very affluent place back then. I don’t know what it’s like now; I haven’t been to Arizona in years. But in those days, to three small girls, it was like being in the middle of a desert wonderland during the holidays. Every house had strands and strands of lights. I’ll never forget the one place that decorated three Saguaro cacti like the Wise Men. It was incredible. And every house had a tree.
A glittering, sparkling tree. Magic. We could see them through the windows. We had no tree. Not even mistletoe, and no decorations. The guest ranch supplied us a place to live—a tiny efficiency apartment.  Room for three beds and a hot plate to cook. No room for a tree, my parents said.
I was in the third grade, and I went to Kaibab Elementary. It seemed as if every child in that class had exciting plans—ski trips and to go to Hawaii. Our plans were to take a lot of Northerners riding in the warm sunshine. No vacation for us.
Even our classroom had a tree. Decorated with green and red paper rings and some glitter, it looked beautiful to me. When the class closed down for the break, I asked the teacher what would become of the tree. She said it would be thrown away. I was horrified. I had no tree, and a perfectly good one was going to be thrown away?
I asked, timidly if I could have it. She said if I could carry it, I could take it. I was not a big kid, but I’d lived around horses and cows all my life. A strong farm raised kid—eight, I think. I lived more than a mile away, but I dragged that tree all the way home. Through the Arizona sand, by an orange grove and across four busy lanes of traffic.
Lo and behold, my dad put it up, in a feed bucket. My mom, a very talented artist, helped us cut out snowflakes and angels for it. It was beautiful. In that very teeny-tiny apartment, my tree took up the whole walk space. We had to crawl over beds to get to the bathroom.
To three small girls who didn’t usually have trees, or Christmas, that tree was as good as the 12 footers covered in lights, tinsel and glass ornaments.
It still is.
For my blog post, please put in the comments section, in which city did I spend a great deal of my childhood Christmases?

Our Grand prize will be a Kindle Fire HD 7". Plus Books to put on your Kindle. Here is a list of the books you will get for you Kindle.

Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage By Missy Martine
Anna Doubles Down By Missy Martine
Bait By Annie Nicholas
BB Dalton By Cat Johnson
A Cowboy For Christmas By Cat Johnson
Starved For Love By Annie Nicholas
Thoroughbreds and Tailer Trash By Bev Pettersen
Wolf's Haven By Ambrielle Kirk
Lights Camera...Monsters By Lila Dubois
Logan's Redemption By Cara Marsi
Samason's Lovely Mortal By Tina Folsom
Eternity Embraced By Larissa Ione
Snow Bound By Larissa Ione
Deceptive Nights By Sylvia Hubbard
Parallel Visions By Cheryl Rainfield
Stones Revenge By Sylvia Hubbard
A Hidden Magic By Angela Benedetti
Big Trouble In China By CC MacKenzie
Dancing In Circles By Victoria Adams
Love's Prophecy By Brenda Dyer
All In The Mind By Jenny Twist
Away With The Fairies By Jenny Twist
The Big Bad...Riding Hood Tale By Nina S. Gooden
Warm Christmas Wishes By Jenny Twist
Betrayed By The Incubus By Nicole Graysen
How to Woo A Reluctant Bride By Lyndi Lamont
Whisper Privileges By Dianne Venetta
Kill A Painted Pony By Kelsy George
Rapture Of The Deep By Kelsy George
Holiday Jinx By Abbey MacInnis

The hop runs from midnight Dec. 17th to midnight Dec, 19th.


You get three entries at each blog stop. One for answering a question at each blog stop, one for following each blog and another for commenting. You don't have to do it all but it gives you a better chance if you do. So even if you stop by just one blog you can win. Hope you will keep hopping though.


After you are finished hopping you just send Tabby an email and tell me which blogs you went to and what you did at each. You are not required to go to every blog to win but the more blogs you go to the better your chance of winning is. Send info to

 Please send it all in one email. If I get an email for each blog you will not qualify for the grand prize. It would just be too confusing to figure out that way. So one email with all the hop info.

Example of hop email for contest:

Your name and email at the top. (You only need this once.)

For each blog

Blog Name

I commented, joined blog and anwser to question at end of the blog post.

You don't have to do all these but each one gets you an entry.


We will be giving away prizes at each stop and the grand prize is a Kindle
Fire HD. Which will be given away on the 20th. Feel free to share with your friends. The contest is open to anyone in the US and Canada. Sorry about that but it is because of shipping and the fact that not everyone can use the Kindle service. You must also be 18 years old to win because some of the books are not meant for anyone under 18. Please follow these rules. Thanks!

Time to start hopping! Have fun and good luck!

1)Tabby's Nocturnal Nights

2)Abby's Place

3) Milly Taiden's Blog

4)Charley Descoteaux's Blog

5)Erotic Notions

6)Renee Fields' Blog

7)Sarah Madison's Blog

8)Ally Shields' Blog

9)Beth Yarnell's Blog

10)Victoria Pinder

11)Journeys With Jana

12)This Is My World

13)Romance, Fantasy and Magic

14)Miracles, Visions, and Other Amazing Stuff

15)Sarah Grimm's Blog

16)Hope, Dreams, Life...Love

17)Victoria's Pages

18)In Shadows

19)The Plotting Princesses

20)Mona Karel's Blog

21)Bonded By Crimson

22)Rock'n The Muses

23)Tara Lain Erotic Romance

24)Storm Goddess Book Reviews

25)Nikki Lynn Barrett's Blog

26)J.A. Garland's Blog

27)D'Ann Lindun's Blog

28)J.S. Winn's Blog

29)B.C. Brown Books

30)Books and Tales

31)Mac's Mad Mania

32)Musings of a Dreamer

33)Lyndi's Love Notes

34)Taylor Michaels' Blog

35)D.A.Berry's Blog

36) Hywela Lyn's Blog

37)Sydney Jane Baily's Blog
38)Sharon Donovan's Blog

39)Wt Prater's Blog


  1. What a story--I'm so glad you got that tree!

    I've spent my whole life within five miles of where I live now. We were poor, sometimes desperately so, but we always had a tree. When I grew up, we always made Christmas a Big Deal. It still is to me.

  2. What a fantastic blog hop. I loved the story thank you for sharing. It was very sweet and a very wonderful kind of Christmas miracle. Made me cry.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Nikki Prince

  3. Great story. Can we give up the Kindle and just get that guy?? :)

  4. What a great story, D'Ann. I can feel your 8 year-old excitement.

  5. Enjoyed the visit.
    You spent your childhood in Phoenix, Az

  6. Phoenix! Thanks for sharing that memory, D'Ann!

  7. That's a heartwarming memory of Phoenix. Cowgirls are resilient!!

  8. Phoenix. Followed you. Thanks for the hop. Happy Holidays.

    mslasha at gmail dot com

  9. Oh, D'Ann, what a lovely story. Good job getting that tree home.

  10. Phoenix :)
    GFC: Cassandra Hicks
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  11. Phoenix. What a great story! Thanks for the fun "hop!" Heather.Sharpe(at)

  12. Phoenix! Loved your story, and I'm glad you got your tree.

  13. we didnt have a tree when we lived in florida eather not sure why.
    gfc kimberly
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  14. Great story. Glad you got your tree!
    Yep, the Santa is so cute!!

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
    kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

  15. Phoenix. Merry Christmas!

  16. Phoenix. Great story!

    GFC: Crissy M

  17. Phoenix.

    You had determination and big dreams even as a kid. Nicely done! Scottsdale is still an upscale area of Phoenix--I used to go there regularly for meetings.

    Thanks for participating in the blog hop--I'm enjoying the chance to check out a whole lot of writers!!

    rowanworth (at)

  18. Phoenix.
    As I grew older, my family's Christmas tree has become smaller and smaller. Might try to get a fresh one someday.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  19. I loved your story and I can totally relate. One of my best Christmases was getting brand new coloring books and a big box of Crayola crayons. I think it has made me truly appreciate the simple things in life and makes us richer than those who were born into riches and don't appreciate much at all. smilz.I am going to happily follow you.By the way, I was born a nd raised in Colo.

  20. That story brought me back to my own poor childhood. I remember the year Cabbage Patch kids were hot and everybody wanted one, my sister and I received Flower kids as a substitute. Honestly I loved that doll more than the Cabbage Patch I got a few years later.
    GFC - K April Holgate
    Thanks for the Awesome Hop!

  21. Phoenix.

    What a story. It's so great that you found the magical gem to focus on and remember.
    Happy Holidays!

  22. Phoenix. Thanks for the great hop. gfc-magic5905
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  23. Hello, thanks for the giveaway! Phoenix is the city.

  24. Great story! Phoenix is the city of your childhood.


  25. Phoenix was the city. This story was both sad and wonderful at the same time. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas, D'Ann!

    Flowerlady_23 at yahoo dot com

  26. Phoenix


  27. Phoenix. Very touching story.

    Thanks for being a part of the blog hop and Happy Holidays

    Leela Lou

  28. The answer is Phoenix. What a neat story to remember though. Thanks for sharing.

  29. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! And the answer is Phoenix! :) Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!
    GFC: shadow_kohler

  30. Phoenix, AZ and I've been to Scottsdale a few times and I hate to say it but if we have a drought that place will dry up.
    I know what you went through, we were poor growing up too, everything we got until my mom married my dad was from garage sales. I got paper dolls once , brand new and I loved them.
    GFC follower
    seawitchreviews at yahoo dot com

  31. Hi - just stopping by as I visit my fellow 'Secret Santa bloghoppers"!What a lovely story. Glad you got your tree. I love decorating our Christmas tree. When I was a child the decorations didn't go up until Christmas Eve, after I was in bed, and it seemed like magic to creep downstairs in the morning to see the tree all lit up!

    Happy Christmas.

  32. Phoenix

    Happy Holidays
    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom (gfc following)

  33. Phoenix

    I grew up poor also, but I am very thankful that mom always gave Christmas her best shot. I found out later as older teen going through old boxes and such that she often put herself in debt for several months to the local shop that offered credit plans.

    I am a GFC follower - brbalways

  34. Nice post.



  35. Scottsdale, Arizona is where you spent most of your childhood Christmases.

    So glad the teacher let you drag that tree home & your parents put it up in the apartment, even though it made everything really tight.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  36. Congrats, all!

    The winners have been notified!
    The grand prize winner was Shannon Breeze.

    Two $5 giftcard winners are

    Thanks, all! Please come by again!

  37. Super post. I think it is very informative post.

  38. D'Ann, just stopping by to thank you for commenting on Under the Tiki Hut today. Best wishes for 2013.