Winter Blogfest: Laura Elizabeth

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win either a $25 gift card to Target, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon (winner’s choice) and a signed copy of my book.

The Countdown

It was my turn. 

I dressed quickly, ran down my steps, and rounded the banister to where my family’s Advent Calendar hung on an almost white wall. A rectangular, felt material calendar was covered with twenty-four pockets, each containing a plushy ornament to stick on the stitched emerald green tree. My turn. I grabbed the plush of the day—a drum—and stuck it on the middle of the calendar.  

Every year, my sisters and I organized the Velcro ornaments into the pockets. However, the baby Jesus in His manger ornament was always placed in the pocket with the “24” on it. My little sister figured out quickly which order she’d have to fall into for that ornament each year.  

My older sister and I let her have that victory. Shush, don’t tell her. 

But when it was my turn every third day to stick the ornament on the tree, I was met with different feelings as the days passed. At first, excitement filled me as another holiday season was underway. But then, as one-by-one, day-by-day, a new ornament was added to the tree, I held onto a lot of sadness. It felt like wishing the season away a bit…counting down the days until Christmas Day. What then? Ordinary life was a little dimmer…December 26 got a bad rap simply because the anticipation of December Day was over (and Epiphany didn’t mean much to a kid…however, props to the Wisemen’s journey). By the time December 20 came around, I was filled with an awful sense of doom. It was almost over. This feeling of magic was almost complete for another year. 

I forgot to embrace (and who can blame me really…I was a kid) how precious and special each day was and is throughout the year.  

The ability only cialis discount pharmacy to show that love to do. Nuts: Almonds are very excellent sources of fat and Visit This Link online levitra desserts. Engaging in a satisfying sex life can decrease tab sildenafil stress. What Is Erectile Dysfunction? Erectile Dysfunction is a disorder and require constant monitoring of levitra 20mg canada the progress report of the person. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve shifted my perspective. My family’s Advent Calendar tradition has transformed into a habit of enjoying each day—embracing December 9, 10, 11 and so on for the same miracle they are as December 25 is…all of them God-given; all of them sacred, even if Jesus’s birthday is rather spectacular. As well as my birthday. Time is a little more magical on my birthday. 

This year, I bought an Advent calendar and hung it on my wall. And I vow to be excited for each and every day, embracing the magic in every sunrise and sunset. The pandemic has placed an interesting twist on this promise, but so far, I’ve found a reason to bask in the present moment of this day. Sometimes, the basking comes simply in a Pop Tart (if it’s the s’more kind, I consider myself doubly thankful). But joy happens. And that’s what matters. While looking forward to the hope of another day, standing in faith with the present hour is pretty great, too. 

Just don’t tell my fiancé I’ve already counted out the days so I get to put the last ornament on the tree. I’m not that evolved yet. It’s my turn.

Ex-cowboy-turned-stuntman Jake Smith trudges to his hometown where he’s left behind a dream he was born into, memories of a hero dad, and his ex-girlfriend who was never supposed to stay in town.

Cassie Sullivan, an ex-politician’s daughter, escaped to Lovestruck during college and now owns the Smith ranch. She’s created a life she’s proud of, even though they aren’t her dreams she’s fulfilled. When Jake returns and lassoes her in, she’s prepared for a showdown that’s percolated for seven years.

That is, if she can stay angry with him for abandoning her. Because she has a secret that would’ve ended their union long ago.

Laura is a lover of all things romance. She’s a former student of the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York and an on-going student at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After participating in PitchWars in 2015, Laura continued writing love stories. Strong heroes and heroines are a must. She’s a Writer’s Digest Honorable Mention Award Recipient.

In her spare time, she teaches yoga, enjoys hiking, and talks often with her writer friends, whose group name is inappropriate for public consumption.


Buy the book at Amazon and Apple.


  1. Laura Elizabeth says

    Excited to pick a winner!!! 🙂 All the love in the New Year. ?

    • What a beautiful tradition we shared:) I’m happy you are now thinking about starting an Advent calendar again as an adult. I found mine this year to be profoundly meaningful, comforting, and filled with hope. Enjoy each little moment as you enter the New Year, Judith. It’s nice “meeting” you here on the page.

  2. I loved advent calendars as a kid…. and then I loved watching my kids enjoy them. As an adult, I’ve not really done them, but after your blog I think I want to start. Thank you for the reminder of counting our joys as well as the days. Happy New Year.

    • What a beautiful tradition we shared:) I’m happy you are now thinking about starting an Advent calendar again as an adult. I found mine this year to be profoundly meaningful, comforting, and filled with hope. Enjoy each little moment as you enter the New Year, Judith. It’s nice “meeting” you here on the page.

  3. Thanks for the reminder to take the time to enjoy all the little things that make up the each day. Happy New Year!

  4. I grew up with Advent calendars, too, but the traditional German paper kind. My children graduated to the chocolate ones, but I think they’re missing the messages in the paper ones and the lovely pictures revealed each day. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Laura.

    • You are most welcome, Helen. Thank you for sharing your advent calendar traditions. I like hearing all the different kinds there are. The one with chocolates would be a wonderful year-round calendar. 🙂

      Happies of New Years:)

  5. I love your Advent calendar tradition, and I definitely was that kid who would find a way to be the one to place baby Jesus on the calendar. It is such a special tradition! Your beautiful story inspires me to start it again next year. I love how seemingly smaller traditions can be the most memorable and meaningful. Thank you for sharing your insight and for the great reminders to enjoy the present and moments in each day. Love it!

    • So true!!! I’m excited to hear you want to do an Advent Calendar next year. Thanks for sharing your experience with it as well:) Enjoy your day! All love ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. nice advent calendar

  7. Eileen Gullo says

    There’s nothing like anticipation at any age! thanks for the great memories, Laura and much continued success with your stories!

    • What sweet words. It was a pleasure sharing my Christmas
      Tradition. You are so right about anticipation. I wish you joy and peace in 2021.

  8. Diane Estrella says

    Sweet cover and the book sounds good too!Happy new year and thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  9. I love your advent calendar tradition. I’ve always loved advent calendars.

  10. We have an advent calendar that has tiny books that tell the Story of Christmas. It was a “baby’s first Christmas” gift for my daughter, who’s now nearly 22 … hopefully one day she’ll be able to share it with her own children. Thank you for sharing your memory!

    • What a beautiful tradition you had and have with your daughter. I’m taking note of it. Thank you so much for sharing. All love and light in this New Year. Blessings:)

  11. Hannah westre says

    Happy New Year! What a fun advent season tradition to remember and to continue with Nik! Cheers to another book and lots of success in 2021!

  12. Thank you for all the responses!!! Eileen was drawn as the winner of a $25 gift card and signed book!!! I will be in touch via email to set up how to get these things to you, Eileen!! Happy New Year!

    I also picked a $10 gift card winner, just for a little extra fun. Annie was drawn as the winner. Will be in touch.

    Thanks to all your kind responses. It was so nice connecting with you. Love and light in 2021.

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