Sunday, December 18, 2016

Catriona McPherson's Christmas Memory (and a giveaway, too)



Anyone who knows Catriona McPherson has fallen under her spell of Scottish charm and wit.  She is the person who immediately lights up a room and is the friend all want to spend time with.  Of course, her writing isn't too shabby either, as she has one of the wonderfully quirkiest minds an author could wish for.  Catriona's standalones are works of creative genius and her Dandy Gilver series is as delightful as it is thrilling.  That mind of Catriona's is a space of many stories, quite beyond the easily imaginable, and we readers are indeed fortunate that she chooses to use that imagination and talent for good (hehehe).  I have a treat for you from Catriona at the end of my chatter.   

In my enthusiasm for Catriona's latest creation, The Reek of Red Herrings, I pre-ordered it twice, and, thus, I now have an extra copy on hand.  I could send it back, but where's the fun in that.  So, what I've decided to do is a Christmas giveaway.  After all, the story takes place at Christmas.  

Here's how to enter.  For all of those commenting on the blog, I will put one entry into a hat for you (a Santa hat, of course) to win this latest book in the Dandy Gilver series.  At the end of the post is a gray box that contains either the words "no comments," if there aren't any yet, or it will read "2 comments," or however many comments there are so far.  Click on that to comment.   For those who are already followers of the blog or who become followers with this post, I will add an extra entry for you.  For those who share the post on FB, you get an extra entry, too.  So, you can have up to three entries to win.  Unfortunately, I will have to limit it to the United States this time, as I'm trying to get the book to you by Christmas.  You have until tomorrow at noon my time, Central Time, to enter.





Now, for the absolute best part of this post today.  Catriona has graciously written about a treasured Christmas memory, exclusively for this blog, and you readers will get to go back in time to Scotland when a fourteen-month-old Catriona was having a particularly memorable Christmas.  Well, she might remember more about it as an adult.  Oh, and it's full of all that wonderful Catriona/Scottish wording. 


             A Christmas Treasure by Catriona McPherson

On Christmas Eve 1966, when I was 14 months old and my sisters were 9, 6 and 3 years old, my dad hid a big old reel-to-reel tape recorder under the telly (the size of a sarcophagus in those pre-flatscreen days).

As usual, we got up at the crack of dawn, waited bursting with excitement for my mum to get a cup of tea and then lined up outside the living room door while my dad went to to see if Santa had been (i.e. turn on the Christmas-tree lights). He flipped the switch on the tape machine.

So it was that we got a tape of the four of us opening our Christmas presents. (Weve all got copies of it on discs now.) I dont contribute much beyond a bit of gurgling and some ear-splitting squeals. My mum occasionally says Look what Babys got and the other girls all pause and say Awwww! before going back to ripping paper off their own swag.

Sheila, the oldest, is most chuffed with her books Barchester Towers! she cries with apparent delight. Jane Eyre! I do wonder what a nine-year-old would make of Anthony Trollope for Christmas now.

Audrey got a talking doll Rosebud who says things like Can I have a biscuit? in cut-glass tones (think Julie Andrews), which cracks us all up on the tape.

Wendys credit column has plenty presents in it (she got a toy Post Office among other things) but her debit column has the fact that at one point I crawl over and sink my tiny teeth into some of her stocking fruit. She was never a grumpy wee girl. All she says is You know what? Shes eating my pear.

These days, every second of childhood is videoed (harrumph, bah humbug, get off my lawn) but all we had was that one snapshot of one Christmas morning. Its all the more precious for it.
Im not complaining about modern technology, though. Im a long way from them all this year and Skype will make my Christmas Day.

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