Sunday, December 01, 2013

Kate Walker - Advent Calendars

Happy December!

It’s the first of December – hard to believe because I’m sure that when I last blinked we were actually enjoying some sun shine in the last days of summer. But it’s  the first day of December and I’m  writing my last blog of the year – so the countdown to 2014 has started!

First there is the count down to the holiday season  - whichever one you’ll be celebrating. Here, we’re counting down to Christmas and I’ve just come back from a weekend away in York  where they have a special  St Nicholas Fayre at the weekends between now and the big day. It was packed! But I did manage to get some special gifts to wrap and put away until December 25th.

These days I don’t have to tell my son that Santa/Father Christmas has brought everything  he finds under the Christmas tree – not do I have to get him to write a letter to Santra to say what he’d  like to find there. He’s in his own home with his partner now so they do things their way.  But one tradition I know he keeps up – as do I – is the opening of the special advent calendar one day at a time as the days of December go by.

We’ve always had an Advent Calendar . Always opened one little door each day to find out what is hidden behind the numbers 1-24 on the brightly coloured sheet. In the early days of The Offspring’s life, it was a help to show him how it was getting closer to Christmas – but we weren’t there yet.  Then it was just for fun, but we would always  have a special moment together as he opened the ‘door’  after we’d first guessed what would be hidden behind it.  We even had a special Advent Calendar for the cats  - one sent by a special friend (to me and to the cats) Anne McAllister.  Sadly there is only one cat around to see the countdown these days since we lost
 beautiful Flora to cancer last month, but Charlie will be happy to have sole access to the cat treats in the little felt pockets.

My personal Advent Calendar also comes from Anne – in the form of a lovely animated design she sends me from the Jacquie Lawson Site and I really look forward to opening it every morning and seeing what  delightful creation is there to enjoy.

Another Advent Calendar tradition  I’ve always had is  the one that I’ve opened on my blog each year. In the countdown to Christmas I ask visitors to the blog to come along and tell me about their preparations, or  their hopes, their plans for the holiday period over the next 24 days.  Every day I  ask a question – one that’s so easy to answer, and there’s no right or wrong,  you just tell me a bit more about yourselves.   And every day Charlie the  Maine coon picks and answer from one of the contributors  and the chosen person wins a signed book  from my backlist – it might be an older title. Sometimes it’s a 3 in 1 anthology where my book has been published along with a couple of others – I don’t quite  know what title I have in my backlist titles collection these days. I have to go and sort things out  before I can announce what books I’m offering.
But there will be 24 of them – and you can be in with a chance to winning one.

So because it’s  my day to blog on Tote Bags today, I’m launching my Advent Calendar here today – and today’s book is the first one I grabbed when I opened my prizes box this afternoon –

So you can win a copy of The Return of The Stranger

Standing high on the windswept moors, the lone figure of Heath Montanha vows vengeance on the woman
who destroyed the last fragments of his heart...
Lady Katherine Charlton has never forgotten the stablehand with dangerous fists and a troubled heart from her childhood. Now the rebel is back, his powerful anger concealed under a polished and commanding veneer.
When ten years of scandal and secrets are unleashed, with a passionate, furious kiss, Heath's deepest, darkest wish crystallises...
Revenge -- and Kat -- will be his!

And all you have to do – well, seeing as I’ve been talking about Advent Calendars – why not tell me if you have an Advent Calendar of not?

Do you have an old  one that comes out year after year (like the one my Cats have shared and passed down from cat to cat for years)?  Or do you buy a new one each  year – perhaps with a little bit of chocolate behind the ‘doors’?  Or perhaps one on your computer, like the one Anne McAllister sent to me? When do you open the special door – in the morning, first thing to start that day? Or perhaps in the evening to mark the fact that the day has passed and we’re now 24 hours closer to the big day?  Or do you share the enjoyment of an advent calendar with your children/ grandchildren?

Let me know and I’ll put your name into the prize draw for Charlie to pick a  winner when I open a  new door on my Advent Calendar tomorrow.

And then perhaps you’ll come along and share in the new Advent Calendar days over on my blog for the rest of December – with a  new question – and a new prize to give away each day for a new winner each time. See you there?

Kate Walker’s new title, A Question of Honor will be published in Harlequin  Presents in June 2014. Her most recent title was A Throne for The Taking  which came out in June 2013:

Alexei Sarova, the black sheep prince who has to face up to a new and unexpected destiny with his heroine Honoria Escalona (Ria) as the woman he wants as his queen.
A kingdom's safety...

Betrayed by those she loves, Honoria Escalona must now face the only man capable of bringing stability to the
Mediterranean kingdom of Mecjoria. A cold, hard man who once called her his friend... Alexei Sarova-the true King of Mecjoria.
In exchange for her happiness
 But Alexei's tortuous past has changed him into someone she hardly knows. He blames Ria's family for his bitterness, and his help-when he offers it-comes with a price: he'll take his rightful place as King with Ria as his wife, until she produces a true-blood heir 

 A Throne For the Taking  was  published in the Royal and Ruthless miniseries in both Harlequin Presents and Mills & Boon Modern.

Other up to date news and details of all Kate’s books can be found on her web site and in her blog.

And I finally got Charlie to pick a winner - the name he's chosen is Jeanne M - Jeanne please email me kate AT kate-walker.   com and send me your postal address and I'll organise the prize.


Jo's Daughter said...

We have the Advent Calendar that my mom made for us. It's made from blue fabric, wrapped around a woodenboard. On the top are two woolen angels facing each other & between them there is a ladder down, made from matchsticks. This represents Heaven & the way that baby Jesus is getting a step closer to earth with each day that will pass. On Christmas morning the little boy will lay in his crib, a gilded walnut shell. His parents Joseph & Mary will stand beside him. I love our "old" calendar, we have had many years together, good memories of wonderful holidays spend as a family :D

Kate Walker said...

That sounds wonderful, Jo's Daughter - I love 'old' calendars and the memories they contain. we have a set of plaster crib figures that my mother had when I was tiny - your special calendar sounds truly lovely,

Rachael Thomas said...

This is the first countdown to Christmas when my daughter isn't at home, as she is in her first year at university. Last week I took her an advent calendar filled with chocolate, to count down the days until she can come home. My son has a wooden snowman, complete with little drawers which I fill each year for him and this year I too have a calendar, one sent by a special friend. It's on my computer and I couldn't wait to open the first door this morning!

Jeanne M said...

Hi Kate!

I love having an Advent calendar every year but for some reason I always end up buying one late when all of a sudden I realize that's December is here and I haven't picked one up!

I must admit that when I finally get one I still get a secret pleasure of opening up all the "windows" and seeing which ones I had missed opening!

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season!

Kaelee said...

I haven't got an Advent calendar this year but we did give my 40 something niece a LEGO advent calendar this year. Got a text saying day one was a little man in coverall with a cup of coffee for him and a spare one for a friend. I wanted to buy a beer advent calendar but my husband thought it was too expensive. I did make 16 or 17 felt advent trees one year. I started in September and by December the 1st I was tired of sewing on sequins.

Have a Happy Christmas Kate!

Eli Yanti said...

i dont have an advent calender but always buy new clothes every new year to celebrate new year :)

Eli Yanti said...

But this year maybe not buy too much just i t-shirt and jeans. my mom has just passed away i think it's not fair to celebrate new year with so many things as past year. gonna miss my mom

Mary Preston said...

I have never had an advent calender. I think I would be inclined to want to skip ahead.

Laney4 said...

Hey there, Kate! Don't put me in your draw, as I've already read this book (which I'll probably say whenever you have a book draw, but what the heck). Just wanted you to know we always had advent calendars when our kids were small, but they chose to discontinue them by high school or so, preferring to wait to get a large chocolate bar or two in their stockings instead. (You never get too old for stockings apparently, LOL!)
Looking forward to your month ahead. Hope you're able to relax somewhat as well, Kate!

Kate Walker said...

I remember doing the same thing when my son went to university, Rachael - she'll soon be home to share the holidays with you. I hope you enjoy your special calendar this year - and that it counts down to some very special days!

Kate Walker said...

I understand, Jeanne - there are so many things to remember in the lead up to Christmas. That's why I love the calendar Anne McAllister sends me on my computer

Kate Walker said...

Hi Kaelee - a LEGO calendar? I've never seen one of those! I hope your niece enjoys it. The felt advent trees sound lovely - but 17 of them! No wonder you were tired of those sequins.

Kate Walker said...

Hello Eli - I'm so sorry about your mum, that does make the festive season hard. I'm sure she would want you to enjoy yourself too. Perhaps you could wear something she loved to see you in so as to remember her at the same time. I hope you and your family can remember her on the special days.

Kate Walker said...

Never had an advent calendar, Mary ? Perhaps you should try one I'm not tempted to look ahead - but then on the4 calendar on my computer, I can't open the days till the right date..

Kate Walker said...

Hello Laney! Yes, I think you'll have read so many of my books - thank you. I'll share a secret with you - if I had to choose between an Advent Calendar - or a stocking - I'd chose the stocking. You really never do get too old for a stocking! I hope you'll enjoy sharing the month ahead - tell you friends to come and join in too. Relax .. . .er . . . yes, I can try!!

Kate Walker said...

And I finally got Charlie to pick a winner - the name he's chosen in Jeanne M - Jeanne please email me kate AT kate-walker. com and send me your postal address and I'll organise the prize.