Hello, reader friends! Join me in welcoming author friend Becca Whitham as part of a JustRead Publicity Tours blog tour and giveaway celebrating The Telegraph Proposal, the third book of the Montana Brides series! I’m reading The Telegraph Proposal right now and Becca is sharing five of her favorite Christmas traditions with us!
about the authors of The Telegraph Proposal
Becca Whitham (WIT-um) Award-winning author, paper crafter, and Army wife, Becca and her twelve-foot long craft cabinet follow her husband of thirty-five years wherever the army needs a good chaplain. She thinks the cabinet should count as a dependent. So far, neither the army nor the IRS is convinced. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories combining faith and fiction that touch the heart. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Visit her website or connect with Becca on facebook, twitter, instagram, or pinterest!
Gina Welborn is the bestselling author of twenty inspirational romances, including the Montana Brides Romances from Kensington Publishing. She’s a member of Romance Writers of American and American Christian Fiction Writers. Sharing her husband’s passion for the premier American sports car, she is a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum and a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, four of their five children, a rabbit named Hobbit, and two cats that don’t realize rabbits are edible. Visit her website or connect with Gina on facebook or pinterest!
five favorite Christmas traditions
BW: Okay, that’s not really a tradition in the usual sense, but for as long as can remember planning my wedding (and that goes back to about age five), I always wanted a Christmas one. My mother knew pretty much the entire city of Tacoma—and I’m not kidding about that—so we went to lots of weddings. I would see something I liked and put it in my “someday” file.
For someone with a strong cheap streak, the idea of saving money with a pre-decorated church was a huge bonus. My husband and I got married on December 21 (check that box!), so now the tradition is celebrating that we got married.
BE: I love your practical reasoning, lol! One of my best friends and one of my sisters had Christmas season weddings as well!
Decorate the house.
BW: This happens the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales are nothing compared to the thrill of getting the tree up, the pillows out, the nativity scene on the shelf, the cinnamon-scented pinecones by the door, and the fragrant candles in place.
When we moved to Alaska in 2015, I wasn’t sure how much storage space I would have and, therefore, left the tree with my daughter. Boy, was that a mistake. I was miserable without my pretty tree! My husband—surely the best man who ever lived—didn’t listen to me when I said I could survive another Christmas without a tree.
For our anniversary, he bought a tree, 32 red roses with individual water holders, and hand-painted glass ornaments. (See, I told you it was a good tradition to get married in December, and yes, I did say he was a good husband for NOT listening to me.) He and my son put it up, decorated it with the roses and ornaments, then called me into the living room to see the surprise. I promptly burst into happy tears.
BE: Awww, the ones who love us best also tend to know us best! How sweet of your husband to make your heart happy!
BW: I’ve gotten out of the habit of listening to music during the day on a regular basis. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I have words going through my head all day long as a writer and they don’t need any competition. But when it comes to Christmas, those carols are playing as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is cleaned up.
I grew up in a musical home. My father taught choir, and my mother can turn on a stereo like a boss and whistle any tune. I played violin, my siblings both played cello, and we all sang at church from the time we were old enough to follow my mother’s finger as she pointed at the words in the hymnal. We attended and participated in so many concerts and cantatas, it would make your head spin. And I loved every minute of it. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without music to accompany it.
BE: Ya know, now that you mention it, I used to have music playing all the time too! My ears and brain don’t handle the constant sound like they used to. Seasons of life, I suppose! I do play more music during the Christmas season (although not as long or often as I used to)!
Smith Family Christmas.
BW: Before my husband joined the army and we moved to Colorado, all of us “Smith kids” lived within a few hours of each other and our parents. As we had children of our own, we adopted new ways of celebrating together. We started doing a gift exchange rather than trying to buy presents for everyone individually. The idea was not to spend more than $10 and get something that anyone would want.
WANT! I agonized over that because the ages went from almost 60 to newborn. It took me a very long time to choose my gift. My mother thought “Billy the Bass,” the motion-activated singing fish you mount on the wall, was a great idea. Did I say it was supposed to be something you’d actually want? Yeah…guess who got that little gem. But it all worked out in the end.
We have, over the years, gifted and gotten rid of singing fish, goats, and various other creatures. And we figured out how to participate from far away once we joined the army. When my husband was in Afghanistan, he got up in the middle of the night his time to Skype into the gift exchange.
BE: How wonderful that y’all have been able to continue celebrating together despite the miles keeping you apart!
Making Christmas Cookies.
BW: Oh…how we love our Christmas cookie decorating tradition. When the kids were about eight and ten, I was running myself ragged trying to do a hundred different things. I realized everyone was having a great holiday season except me. So I sat the family down and asked a simple question, “What must happen for Christmas to be Christmas for you?” Presents were, of course, number one for the kids, but after that it boiled down to just a few things. The one item on everyone’s list was decorating cookies.
Now we don’t just slap some frosting on and call it good. Oh, no! Our decorating involves piping bags, 15-20 decorator tips, multiple food colors, colored sugars and sprinkles, tweezers for placing sprinkles in a straight line, and an ever-growing variety of cookie cutters. A couple of years ago we decided to mark something significant about the year with a representative cookie cutter.
In 2018 on my way to pick up the Spur Award for the Best Western Romance Novel as awarded by the Western Writers of America, my friend and I stopped in Helena, MT (where the series is set). We went shopping and I found cookie cutters shaped like a cowboy hat and a boot. It didn’t take much for my friend to talk me into purchasing them to represent the significant event of the year. As for the rest of the family cookie decorating tradition, my daughter is the master. I still try, but the men now make anything but what the cookie shape is intended to be. Santa has morphed into a putting green, candy canes became sled runners, and more than a few starships have made an appearance.
B: Y’all go all out with the fancy cookie decorating! I wonder what cookie cutter shape you would choose to represent The Telegraph Proposal! We love baking cookies but there are twice as many hungry kids in our home so we don’t worry about making them pretty!
As I said earlier, I’m currently reading The Telegraph Proposal and I’m enjoying Hale and Yancy’s story! Thank you so much for sharing five of your favorite Christmas traditions with us, Becca!
about the book
Title: The Telegraph Proposal
Series: Montana Brides #3
Authors: Becca Whitham & Gina Welborn
Genre: Western Romance
Release Date: October 29, 2019
In the rough and rugged Montana Territory, the journey to true love is filled with unexpected twists–and sweet rewards–for daring frontier women who faithfully believe every heart has a home . . .
With the help of the Archer Matrimonial Company, Yancey Palmer has finally put Hale Adams, the man she’s loved for ten years–sometimes not wisely or well–behind her. Yancey is so sure of her love for the man the agency matched her with, she readily promises a friend that she’ll help Hale with his mayoral campaign without chasing him.
Hale has also engaged the services of the matrimonial agency. He’s so pleased with one lady, he requests that she join him in Helena to commence a sixty-day courtship. But instead, the Archer ladies arrive in town to reveal the true identities of both Hale’s and Yancey’s matches: each other. Can they look past their misunderstandings and hurt to see that they are still a perfect match?
(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and a Montana huckleberry syrup and jam gift box!
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 28, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 4, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Join our Christmas traditions chat by sharing your favorites in the comments!
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