Sunday, December 18, 2011

GUEST: Tina Donahue

What’s Your Favorite Holiday Memory?

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for the holidays. Put a little pine scent and chill in the air, throw in the fragrance of pumpkin pie, honey-baked ham and all the other goodies no health conscious person should eat and I’m a goner.

However, it’s the memories that stir me the most. In particular, this one that didn’t start out so great but turned into something oh so romantic.

The first year my husband and I dated, I was giddy about Christmas as only a twenty-something can be. Although I wasn’t expecting a ring (we were too new to each other), I was expecting some kind of jewelry. What I got was a clock radio. “So you’re not late for work,” he said. You see, he owned the newspaper where I worked.

Hmmm. By the look on my face, he knew he’d fallen into a deep hole of doo-doo, especially since I’d given him a gyroscope he’d been eyeing. Don’t ask me why those kinds of things interested him, they just did.

The following year, I had no great hopes. We were married by then and I figured I’d get a blender or iron to improve my wifely skills. Christmas Eve, a working day for us, he left for the office earlier than usual, mumbling about deadlines. I trudged in a little later, but before the rest of the crew had arrived. I had a migraine, a pimple the size of Mt. Everest erupting on my chin and just wanted to curl up under the front desk and sleep.

A beautifully decorated envelope on the desk stopped me. It was taped to the wood and had my name on it. Inside was one of the loveliest cards I’d ever seen. What’s more, instead of a canned poem being inside, there was my hubby’s handwriting, telling me how much he loved me.

I called out his name. No answer. Surely, he was here, I saw his car out front. I went into the guts of the paper. There, on various tables and bookcases were other envelopes with my name on them. There were also gaily wrapped packages. One had a beautiful nightie I’d told him about in passing. The next, a novel I’d been thinking of getting. Another a briefcase I’d seen in an office magazine.

It was hard to read and see all the stuff, I was crying so hard. I ran into his office. He pretended to be on the phone, all serious and busy. I pulled the phone from him, hung up and kissed him hard, babbling about what he’d done. “Oh,” he said, “you got to all of it?”

There was more?

At my desk, I saw another small package. It held a diamond and sapphire ring I’d seen at Zales when I went shopping with one of my friends. Clearly, he’d asked her what I wanted. What I liked. How he could please me.

It wasn’t the gifts, though they were great. It wasn’t even the cards with all of his thoughts written down. It was that he took the time to make Christmas special for me. That he cared enough.

It’s a moment I’ll never forget. I lost him a few years back from what insurance companies call a ‘medical misadventure’. He had a minor ailment and the doctor prescribed the wrong medication. In a flash, he was gone.

But never forgotten. He’ll always be in my heart and thoughts.

I’d love to hear about your best holiday memory.

Leave a comment and you’re entered in my CONTEST!!!

One lucky commenter on this blog will have her choice of one of my following ebooks**:

Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
Take Me Away - #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books

** Winner chosen at random. Winner chosen December 20.

More great news - I have two new releases out!

SiNN, contemporary ménage

Unending Desire, erotic paranormal

Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work; she has reached finals and/or placed in numerous RWA–sponsored contests. Three of her erotic novels were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic romance, was chosen Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category) at the French review site, Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights; and Deep, Dark, Delicious (erotic romance) recently received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011). She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.


  1. Hey, Denyse - thanks for having me here today. :)

  2. My Favorite Holiday Memory is the look on the face of my daughter when she first helped to decorate the tree. She was three ans a half and was oohh so carefull with the glas orbs, they all survived. The only one broken yet was my hubby while taking down the tree a few years ago,

  3. That is sweet - what a great memory. :) Thanks for sharing and stopping by.

  4. Victoria ZumbrumDec 18, 2011, 1:24:00 PM

    Thanks for sharing your memories of your husband Tina. Your husband was very special and very romantic. My favorite Christmas memory would be my son's first Christmas.

  5. Oh Tina, that was such a beautiful story, you had me tearing up there at the end.

    One of my favorite Christmas memories was sharing that we were pregnant with twins to my Mom and Dad one Christmas Eve. They were the first grandchildren, and the tears and laughter from that announcement stays with me, even after 25 years.

    My very best wishes to you this holiday season.

    cathy m
    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  6. Hi, Tore - thanks so much for stopping by. I bet the little guy's first Christmas was amazing. Don't you love to watch a child's eyes light up when they see the tree? :)

  7. Oh my gosh, you have twins? How wonderful, Cathy! I bet that was one fine Christmas. :) Thanks so much for coming by.

  8. Hello Tina & Denyse,
    Thank you Denyse for hosting Tina of your Blog today & Thank You Tina for taking the time out of your busy day to spend with your Fans!
    What a Wonderful Menory of your Husband Tina. Thank you for sharing such a personal heart-warming, sweet moment in time that you hold dear to your Heart, just as your Husband will always be with you, filling your Heart with his Love for You Forever.

    My Favorite Christmas Memory is actually a funny one, it brought me back to the most hilarious memory of my Mom & I “trying” to make a Gingerbread House when I was very young. It still makes me laugh & smile so big when I think about it. My Mom is not what you would call a “creative” cook. lol But she wanted to surprise my Dad with this Gingerbread House. OMG It was a disaster. The entire kitchen was a mess! Nothing she did would make it turn out right, the sides would collapse, there was sugar, flour all over the place, it looked like a GAINT Betty Crocker sneezed all over our Kitchen. lol After trying & trying, she finally gave up, being so young, I couldn't understand at the time what the big deal was & why she was so upset she couldn't do this for my Dad. It took us sooooo long to clean up, but she left the baking supplies out where my Dad could see them. LOL We went to the Bakery & she bought a Gingerbread House, came home & she set it in the center of the table & hide the Bakery Box in the trash outside. LOL When my Dad came home from work he told my Mom how Great it looked, that it must have taken her all day to make, that was so nice of her to do for him & it is the Best Gift she could have given him. Again, being a kid, I didn't see the big deal in a Cookie House. LOL Later that evening, I remember my Dad talking to me, he said “Don’t tell your Mother, but I know she didn’t make the Gingerbread House. I through something away in the trash before I came into the house & saw the Bakery Box, but I didn’t want to hurt your Mom's feelings, I know she had to work so hard to make one for me & her trying so hard means more to me than anything else I receive this year”. He also told me when I grow up I'll understand better. That still makes me smile today & always brings me heart-warming Christmas memory. To me, that is the meaning of Christmas & what True Love really is supposed to be!
    Take Care & Have a Very Merry Holiday Season,
    Renee' S.

  9. What a sweet memory, Renee. It had me smiling throughout. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  10. My first Christmas, my husband gave a coffee pot. His explanation was, you like to drink coffee. My favorite memory is my first grandson who was born on December 16th.


  11. LOL - sounds just like a guy, doesn't it, Andrea. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story.

  12. Those are beautiful memories, Tina. Thank you for sharing. My best memory is when my husband and I went shopping for our first Christmas tree. We just so caught up with the Christmas feeling that we went wild and bought so much lights and ornaments that we had to buy a bigger tree to decorate!

  13. Aw, what a great memory, Tamsyn. Made me smile. Thanks for sharing and for dropping by. :)

  14. Tina, that made me laugh & cry. I can just see the look on your face when you opened that clock radio. That he made up for it so eloquently the next year really said a lot about his love for you. I'm so touched that you shared his loss with us. The hardest thing about holidays is missing the loved ones who can't be with us anymore. This will be the 4th Christmas since I lost an aunt & a cousin in the same week, my aunt to cancer & my cousin to a hidden infection that stopped his heart. It really makes you treasure the time you had with them.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  15. I'm so sorry for your loss, Kathryn. Losing someone you love at any time is hard, but somehow it seems even worse during the holidays. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

  16. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and for your great comments.

    I've chosen my winner - at random - and it's (drum roll please) UteH.

    I'll be contacting you shortly for your prize. :)


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.