Winter Blogfest: B. L. Blair

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Family Christmas Traditions

I grew up in a large family. I am the youngest of six kids. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they tried to make Christmas special for all of us. When I was a child, we had three Christmas traditions that are lasting memories for me.

The first was simple. My grandmother had made Christmas stockings for all of her grandchildren. She died before I was born, so my aunt made one for me. These stockings were velveteen and had our names coming from the smoke of a house chimney for the girls and a train for the boys. They were simple and sweet. We didn’t use them for stuffing, but every year my mother would hang them over the couch of our living room. We all still have ours and pull them out each year.

The second tradition involved gifts. My mother worked hard all year to purchase us little gifts. We always had ten to fifteen wrapped gifts each and one unwrapped “Santa” gift. On Christmas Eve, we would all pick a spot in the living room. We would then spend about an hour pulling our gifts out from under the tree, shaking the boxes, and sorting them in our spot – which one would we open first the next morning. Of course, we counted them as well. By the time we were done, there was nowhere to sit, so we had to go to bed. A win-win for my parents.

And that brings me to the third tradition. My parents had a hard and fast rule. We could not get out of bed on Christmas morning before seven a.m. This gave my mother time to get up and start the turkey without anyone under foot. I remember laying in bed and waiting for the clock to turn to the acceptable time. The anticipation, the excitement, and sheer happiness was almost overwhelming. When it was time, we would all rush into the living room to our spot to see what Santa had left us and begin ripping into the presents. It was a simple joy and is one of my fondest memories.

I hope you have family traditions that bring you happiness and joy. I would love to hear them. Please share in the comments. Happy Holidays!

When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t like Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe. Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.

Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police arrest her for murder?

B. L. Blair writes mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Leah Norwood Mysteries and the Lost and Found Pets Mystery Novellas. She loves reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

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