Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Present Time

Tawny Weber
EDITED TO POST WINNER: Laney4, your name was drawn as the winner of an autographed copy of SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE. If you'll email me with your shipping info, I'll get that right out to you :-) Congratulations, and thank you to everyone for sharing your best and worst gifts with me!

In my latest Harlequin Blaze release, SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE, patriarch Tobias Black sees the homecoming of his oldest son as the best Christmas gift he could have. Now, he’s a wily kind of guy, so he did arrange Caleb’s homecoming himself. But as usual, no matter how carefully we plan, sometimes gifts don’t turn out quite the way we hope. For Tobias, it turns out that his son is quite possibly there to arrest him. Now that would quickly shift the gift of having Caleb back in his life from his best to his worst list. Now Pandora? She’s having such a wonderful holiday season, she’s afraid to jinx it by asking Santa for anything else. But when the sexiest, most intense bad boy she’s ever seen walks into her store, she figures the best gifts are the ones that come as a surprise.

So this got me thinking. For the most part, my husband is wonderful at choosing gifts. Except for that sweater he gave me the first year we were married. It’s blue. It’s clunky. It’s decorated with snowflakes. It’s... Well, let’s just call it unfortunate. Or maybe that’s what we should call me the couple of times I wore it. Isn’t that the sweet thing about those first years of marriage? We wear the ugliest things out of loving obligation. If he gave me that sweater now, I’d be asking for the exchange receipt. And knowing my husband, he’d laugh and hand it over. I think that’s just one more reason to love the guy!

And speaking of exchanges... Over the years I’ve been to a lot of holiday parties that include gift exchanges. You know the ones, everyone brings a themed gift or something within a certain price limit. Often, the gifts are thoughtful and welcome. And then there are the ones that aren’t. Not thoughtful, and definitely not welcome. And the thing is, these exchanges are usually optional. So knowing how cringe-worthy the gifts might be, you’d think I’d opt out. But no, I’m a glutton for pressies. I love ‘em. Even the questionable ones. :-D

Best gift exchange pressies:
• A box of Sees chocolates
• Santa Claus is Coming to Town dvd
• Hand painted ornaments

Worst gift exchange pressies:
• A small box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (exchange $ limit: $20)
• Holiday themed cheese spreaders, used and poorly washed
• A cracked compact mirror (who gets the bad luck on that?)

In the end of SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE, Pandora definitely ended up with a gift she never wants to exchange. Love, holiday style, with that sexy bad boy is the best thing Santa—or Tobias—has ever brought her. And I think Tobias decided that having Caleb home was a pretty great gift. So great that he went right to work on his New Year’s gift... Bringing his daughter Maya home, too.

So how about you? What are your best and worst holiday exchange gifts? Tell me about them in the comments section to be added to a drawing for an autographed copy of SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE!

Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin Blaze since her first book hit the shelves in 2007. When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. Come by and visit her on the web at

In December of 2011 Tawny launched her Undercover Ops series with SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE. The second book in the series, SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT is on shelves in January 2012, quickly followed in February by SEX, LIES & VALENTINES. Be sure to follow Tawny on her Holiday Survival Tour as she celebrates these three books with contests, giveaways and lots of fun. You can read the first chapter of SEX, LIES & MISTLETOE on her website, all you have to do is join the Reader LoveFest!


Christine Warner said...

My husband's family used to do a white elephant gift exchange. You basically take something from your house that you know longer use and wrap it up and everyone else does the same. There's been some, let's say...interesting gifts. I can recall some narrow escapes from getting such lovely gifts as an old wooden lamp that weighed a ton and wouldn't match any decor, a cracked bunny candy dish and a box of supplies from a medicine (all in good fun)...but in the process I did receive a wonderful picture frame and a couple of dvd's of scary it all worked out!

Great post..enjoyed reading about your latest release.

Laurie G said...

My godmother gave me the absolute worst Christmas gifts!

a gargoyle statue -truly ugly, What do you do with it?

a knit poncho- pink, black, brown and tan, also UGLY

A crocheted vest -pea green, gold and white UGLY!

A wine bottle base with a home made doll covering the top...UGLY

I cringed every Christmas!! I was so relieved when she moved away so that I no longer received a gift from her.

Best gift my MIL volunteered to baby sit our children so that my husband and I could take a week long vacation!

Kaelee said...

Tawny ~ My husband gave me a sweater on our first Christmas as well. He got it right on all counts. A gold colored mock turtleneck which I still have.

His first birthday gift to me wasn't great though. A beer mug and a lime green beaded necklace. The beer mug has been long broken but I still have the never worn necklace.

Laney4 said...

Worst was a bright purple and white vertically striped thick turtleneck sweater from ... er ... Santa when I was about 10. (Santa only brought clothes and books; my parents only gave clothes.)
Best was my engagement ring in 1980, although the story was different than most. My now husband of 30 years asked me to marry him, and my MOTHER replied that I would. I was 21 and had only dated him since Labour Day weekend, so I told him I'd have to think it over, as it was much to fast and unexpected.
And Tawny? May your holiday season be filled with "sex ... and mistletoe" but no lies, LOL. Save that for your book!

Dawn said...

My husband has a very large family and every Christmas Eve we have an worst gifts come out of that every year...but every year my husband gives me the best and candles...he is the greatest!

Tawny said...

Supplies from the medicine cabinet? Oh man, Christine, that's so bad it's funny :-D But a great picture frame sounds lovely.

We have a party this weekend that includes a white elephant gift exchange. We don't know the hosts (or guests) well, so I'm a little iffy on what to bring. Definitely nothing from my medicine cabinet, though :-D

Thanks tons for the congrats! I'm super excited about these books and hope readers will be, too.

Tawny said...

Oh, Laurie :-( That is one unfortunate list of gifts. Yikes, the doll wine cover just sounds, well, like I'd need to drink the entire bottle of wine in order to consider using it.

But talk about hitting the jackpot with your MIL. YAY - I love babysitting offers. I love even more long romantic weekends :-) I'll bet you did, too!!!

Tawny said...

Awww, Kaelee, it sounds like your hubby has great holiday taste :-) I'm giggling a little on the birthday present, though. Um, cheers?

Isn't it funny how we still keep those gifts, your beads and my sweater, even though we know we're never going to wear them. The sentiment is obviously much more important than actual use :-)

Tawny said...

Hi Laney :-D

Awwww, my heart is melting. A Christmas engagement, even if it was way too soon *g*, is so romantic. I'm giggling that your mom said yes first. How long after Christmas did you wait before saying yes?

And Ahhhhh, I love your holiday wish :-D Too funny. I'll happily take both the sex and mistletoe, and be happy to skip over those lies :-D

Tawny said...

Ooooh, diamonds are ALWAYS a winning gift, Dawn :-) And candles are so romantic. It sounds like your husband is primo tops at picking great gifts!!

That has to help make up for the less than wonderful offerings from the family exchange :-D

Artemis said...

Fortunately, I've never had the pleasure of attending any of the white elephant exchanges.

But every year, heaven forbid, my sister-in-law will give me some awful piece of clothing. It's either a shirt or sweater. And it never has a gift receipt with it. Ugh!!

The husband has finally learned: it's either jewels or electronics.

The best gift that I can give: One that includes a gift receipt so the person can return it!

Congrats Tawny on your hot new release!

Gwen said...

Our 2nd Christmas together, he got me a wheelbarrow. He said he got the blue on becasue it matched my eyes. By the way we still have the wheelbarrow.

Di said...

I don't recall any myself, but I remember when my Mom had one with her church ladies group - she came home with a bar of scented soap, but you could tell that it had been used at least once because the raised design was a bit worn - yuck!

Laney4 said...

He proposed on Christmas morning and I said I needed 2 weeks to think about it. I went home and wrote out a list on binder paper with headings in four parts of the paper: why I want to marry, why I want to marry him, why I don't want to marry, and why I don't want to marry him. The 2 columns of "don't want to marry" went down the whole length of the page. The 2 columns of "do want to marry" took up less than half the length of the page. My best friend told me not to marry him because he was too old and set in his ways (he was ten years my senior). After two days, I realized that the quality of the yeses far outweighed the quantity of the no reasons. We were wed the following July when there was a shutdown at the plant where he worked - romantic, eh? - and celebrated our 30th last summer by having a potluck barbecue with 60 friends/family. In the evening, a three-piece local band performed (for free!) for us as a thank you for supporting them so much for the past few years. It was perfect. I can honestly say that I love him more now than I did way back then. I can't say I love him more each year, though, as we went through a rough patch (or two) when the kids were small, but thankfully sanity prevailed and we both worked on our relationship to make it that much better.

Tawny said...

You're lucky on being able to avoid the white elephant exchanges, Artemis, but I have to admit, I might trade one of those instead of an ugly SIL gift. I mean, those you almost have to keep around and pretend you might wear some day.

Jewelry and electronics make the BEST gifts!!! I'm a fan of both *g* And gift receipts? Best invention in the world, right?!

Thanks for the congrats ;-)

Tawny said...

Oh, Gwen. Wow. A wheelbarrow? Um, hmm. I'm not sure how to respond to that *g* If you still have it, it must have been a good gift, right? Maybe just a smidge short on romance? *ggg*

Tawny said...


Di, that's pretty much winning the icky pressie award. I mean, used soap? Not festive at all. Ick.

Tawny said...

Awww, Laney. What a lovely romance you've had. Your anniversary sounds so sweet and fun, and your testament to loves endurance is inspiring.

And hey, from one die-hard list-maker to another, a cyber high five :-D

Sheree said...

Congrats on your new release!

One time I had a mystery gift exchange at work and my boss asked me to buy something for him as his contribution. Being the smarty pants I was, I bought something I liked and then chose that during the gift exchange.

One year I gave automatic pencil sharpeners to my friends and then the following year I gave them batteries for said sharpeners. Actually, I gave batteries to everyone that year - lacking in imagination but eminently practical.

ev said...

we always have a hard time buying something for each other- we tend to just go buy what we want when we feel like it. I like electronics and tools and stuff for the house. He buys me diamonds. LOL

Laney4 said...

My "awww" story gets sweeter: we celebrated our anniversary on the weekend closest to our anniversary with that party. On the actual day, though, my husband was actually off work (he works continental shifts) that Monday, so we drove an hour away (and held hands while he drove everywhere), took a half-hour ferry to an island (and I read a romance while he wandered on the deck), drove around that island leisurely (pulling over whenever there were other cars so that we wouldn't hold up traffic), had a lovely lunch out with my own homemade brownies/tarts for dessert in the car, toured around some more on the island, found a place to neck like teenagers (grin), took the same ferry back (and I read some more), had supper at a nice restaurant, took a different ferry back home for 15 minutes (ditto re book), stopped nearby for an ice cream cone treat, and got home by 9 pm (where I finished the book). How much better can a 30th anniversary get, I ask you? I loved every minute of it. It was our best anniversary ever.

Tawny said...

LOL Sheree. I think that's the best idea ever!! The cleverest way to get the best present, definitely buy it yourself!!

and I'm giggling over the batteries, and the pencil sharpeners. Did your friends love them?

Tawny said...

Ev, thats smart. That way you both always know you're getting what you want :-D And diamonds? Oh yeah, that's a rocking awesome gift for sure!!

Tawny said...

Awwwwwww times two, Laney :-D

What an incredible anniversary, and a perfect sounding day :-D I'm torn between saying the reading a romance novel is the part that made me smile the most, or the necking like teenagers on the island LOL. It all sounds perfect!!!

Here's to many more wonderful years of celebration for you both!!!