Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"A Midwest Girl’s Christmas in Africa":X-mas Guest Post and Giveaway with Margaret Mallory

A Midwest Girl’s Christmas in Africa 
When I was eleven years old, my parents sat us three kids down and announced that we were going to live in Africa for two years. I cried for three days, believing I could make them change their minds. When I made no headway with that—I’m very stubborn—I arranged for my best friend’s family to take me in while my own family was gone. To my astonishment, my parents did not find this acceptable. Like any good heroine, I recognized when it was time to negotiate. I agreed to go if we could take our twelve-year-old beagle.

There were no good schools near where my family was posted, so my sister and I had to go to boarding school a twelve-hour drive away from them. School was starting, so my parents left us there three days after our plane landed.

7th Grade

8th Grade
Would you send this child to boarding school?

The Christmas holidays were special because I got to come home. Although my parents and brother came to visit us a couple of times a quarter, we only went home for Christmas, Easter, and summer break. I did not see where my family lived until that first Christmas. From the moment they left me, I counted the days and the hours until the Christmas holiday.

I turned twelve that October, and I felt like a soldier who gets to come home on leave. Like most kids, I had always taken time with my family for granted. No more. I was so happy to be home that I don’t think I found my younger brother annoying once.
Not-so Annoying Brother Struts His Stuff ;)
Everything was different. It was hot and dry, when we were used to snowy Christmases, and we had the most pathetic Christmas tree you could imagine. We swam every day instead of sledding, and we got presents like flippers instead of flannel pajamas.

And it was all wonderful, because I was home with my family.
Me with my Brother, My Diker
& one of our dogs

Bargaining at the Market

Although we couldn’t visit relatives as we usually did over the holidays, my parents had an assortment of fascinating friends that included Peace Corps volunteers, missionaries, and British families. My dog had died of tick fever while I was at school, but we collected other pets and even got a horse.

Things got better for me after that first Christmas. And the second year, my parents moved us to a school that I loved. I was more used to the separation by then as well, but I still looked forward to the Christmas holidays for weeks.

Hard as those first months were, I am glad my parents made me go. Living overseas gave me a life-long love of travel and an appreciation for different cultures. Our family bonded over our extraordinary experiences there, a little like war buddies do, and we talk about them to this day.

More info in: Author Preview

I’d love to respond to questions or comments or to hear about a holiday that was special to you growing up. I’ll give away a signed copy of KNIGHT OF PASSION, a medieval romance with a heroine who also had a rough patch as a girl, to one of the commenters. Happy Holidays!
~*~Giveaway Details~*~
Margaret Mallory has generously offered to giveaway a signed copy of her latest release, 'Knight Of Passion', to one (1) lucky commenter. Follow the guidelines below and comment for your chance to win! The giveaway will end on Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 11:59:00 PM. The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve and contacted via email shortly after.

Giveaway Guidelines: To be entered in the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment with either an answer to Patricia's question or a question of your own!
*Make sure to include your email address (NO EMAIL= INVALID ENTRY)
For Extra Entries (do one or more of the following for extra shots at winning):
+2 'Like' Margaret Mallory on Facebook
+2 'Like' The 'Not Another Romance Blog' Blog on Facebook
+2 Comment on the Author Preview
+4 Spread the word: Tweet on Twitter, Post a Facebook status, or blog about this guest post and giveaway (provide a link in you entry comment)
+5 Become a Follower/ Be a Follower

-Tell me in your comment which extra entries you are entitled to or they won't count

*Giveaway restricted to US & Canada residents only
Hope you enjoyed today's X-mas Guest Post from Margaret Mallory in:

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