Winter Blogfest: Michael Preston

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of my book Ticket to Paradise for one lucky winner.

Christmas at Grandma’s Farm by Michael Preston

The holidays are here, and of course that brings up many memories of times past when I was a kid growing up in the 60’s. I especially remember Christmas at grandma’s farm in Ohio. She was a widow, living in a large brick house built in the early 1800’s by Quakers. Originally, it had no indoor plumbing. There was an outhouse in the backyard where the early inhabitants would go to do their business, but when grandma bought the place, she converted one closet upstairs into a bathroom. The water pressure was terrible. It would take fifteen minutes to fill up the bathtub.

There were several wells from which water could be hand pumped for cooking and washing. I still remember the delicious taste of the cold water I would drink right from the pump. Grandma kept the pumps even after the indoor plumbing was installed. My cousins and I would play with them for hours, and eventually we would all be soaked.

As the days would go by and it would get closer and closer to Christmas, I monitored the weather forecasts daily. We lived a good hour’s drive away from grandma’s house. My worst nightmare was there would be a big storm the day before Christmas, making the roads impassable, and we could not go to grandma’s house. This meant missing out on presents and seeing my cousins. This was the only time all year we would all be together.

Our family tree was not huge. I had only five cousins, plus my younger brother and sister. You can imagine the excitement when we were all in the same room. While the adults sat and talked in the living room, we were running all over that old house, sliding down the banister on our stomachs, playing hide and go seek, and eating everything in sight. Grandma was an excellent cook, and she would make popcorn balls for all of us kids to eat. There would always be a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings, which we would woof down quickly, because as soon as dinner was over, it would be time to open presents!

I hope all of you out there have memories of past Christmas gatherings which were as joyful as mine. If you’re stumped for a last-minute gift, my book Ticket to Paradise could fill that void.

Merry Christmas!

Art Garcia, a small-time drug dealer, is always looking for his ticket to paradise, the one thing that will make all his problems go away. Angela, his sociopathic sister, couldn’t care less about her brother. Abused as children, their twisted lives are going in different directions until greed brings them together in a perilous venture.

Their partnership ends suddenly when Angela is found dead after a rainstorm, buried in a massive mudslide. Detectives Ron Jackson and Mary Ann McDonald take the case when an autopsy reveals someone shot Angela dead before the mudslide. While searching for her killer, the detectives discover that eight children under Angela’s protection, vanished without a trace. As suspects die, the detectives race to find Art; the only one left alive who knows what happened to the children.

Art finally has his ticket to paradise, a winning lotto ticket. But cashing it will provide the detectives with a motive for the murder of his sister. Torn between greed and the fear of prison, his situation grows more and more desperate.

I am a freelance writer with a background in telecommunications and appraising. “Ticket to Paradise” is my first novel. When I am not writing, I like to amuse myself by creating mounds of sawdust in my wood shop, or visiting a country I have always wanted to see.

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Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. I love that story! Rural living can really make you appreciate the simple things (like good plumbing) but I can hear the fondest of your memory in your words. Thank you for sharing.

    • Michael Preston says

      Hi Maria,
      Thank you for your kind comment to my winter blogfest. You have been chosen as the winner of a digital copy of my book, Ticket to Paradise. Please reply to this email so I can attach the book and send it back to you.
      Michael Preston

  2. That sounds like the perfect place to spend Christmas. There’s nothing like spending the holidays with loved ones in a quiet rural setting.

    My grandparents live on a farm, too, albeit one that is more modern than what your grandparents had. 🙂

  3. popcorn balls are fun

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