Snow piles up on the window panes outdoors, while inside, the cherry wood log crackles in the fireplace, giving the room a warm, ethereal glow. Oliver stands off to the side of the parlour, admiring the Douglas Fir he has decorated with blown glass ornaments, twinkle lights, candy canes and gingerbread boys. With a twinkle in his eye, he hangs his stocking on the mantel with care, in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be here. Then the doorbell rings and Oliver, donned in his Santa cap, runs off to greet Janet, belting out a verse or two of “Hurry Christmas, Hurry Fun…”
Sharon: Welcome, Janet! So glad you could pop in for a visit! Merry Christmas! How are you?
Janet: I’m great! It’s sure nice to be out of the cold, though. Especially for this Florida girl.
Sharon: Oliver, I’m sure Janet would like something hot to take the chill out. About those refreshments we talked about serving?
Oliver swaggers off, but not before pumping his biceps to Janet with a wink.
Sharon: He can’t help himself. Sigh. So are you ready for Christmas?
Janet: It’s okay. I don’t mind a good flex or two when it comes from a nice looking man. As to Christmas, I’m ready. I couldn’t decorate the tree with more than tinsel and lights this year. I have two cats that are almost a year old and one that is just over a year and they LOVE the tree, if you get what I mean. Each night I come home, the first words out of my mouth are: “And the tree is still standing!”
Sharon: Say no more. I’m no stranger to the little feline darlings and have had plenty of experience with the toppling over of the tree, broken ornaments and kitty no nos!
Oliver struts in, pushing a silver caddy decorated with sprigs of fresh holly and a blooming poinsettia. With a sweeping bow, he presents it to Janet. Then he pours coffee from the carafe into two dainty teacups. He uncovers a platter of freshly baked sugar cookies, fudge brownies and chocolate chips.
Sharon: Thank you, Oliver. Don’t they smell yummy, Janet?
Janet: Oh yes. Brownies are my favorite. Chocolate chip cookies come in a close second. And the service is really nice, too. (eyeing Oliver as his biceps flex with each movement.)
Sharon: You know, I am very nostalgic and very family oriented when it comes to holidays and traditions. And Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I have so many wonderful memories. How about you, Janet. Do you have one you hold near and dear to your heart?
Janet: The best Christmas I remember was shortly after I moved to Florida. Even though there was warm weather (my favorite) and not a drop of snow to be found, the house was filled with the joy of Christmas.
was wonderful to see the living room completely trashed and to hear the crinkling of paper when human and animal walked around the room.
Sharon: Ah, yes. Animals add so much to the spirit of Christmas. And that is such a lovely memory of your son to make you smile. And being a nurse, no doubt there have been some heart-warming acts of kindness over the Christmas season. Any you’d like to share?
Janet: I’ve experienced a lot of heart-warming experiences over the 18 years I’ve been a nurse. But the one that comes to mind over the Christmas holiday was one where an older man had to be hospitalized for chest pain. He and his son drove big rigs for a living. We got to talking and I got to know a bit about them and their lives. They, in turn, got to listen to me talk about my son and some of the things I was getting for Christmas.
The day the dad was discharged, they both had huge grins on their faces as a box was handed to me. They said it was a present for my son. It wasn’t wrapped so I saw it was a radio controlled big rig. I gave each a hug and thanked them for their kindness. When my son saw the gift, he was delighted and drove it all over the living room and the driveway. I wouldn’t let him drive it on the road because I live on a busy street.
Sharon: What a sweet memory! Now let’s talk about traditions. I adore them and consider each a gift. I collect them, one of my hobbies. Do you have a favorite tradition that has been passed down in your family from generation to generation?
Janet: Each year, especially since my son is older now, we go to the store and pick an ornament for the tree with the current year on it. Then we go over to electronics and pick out a movie we haven’t seen to bring home. Since I work every other Christmas, we either celebrate on Christmas or the day before if I have to work.
On our day, we get up and start the cooking process. It’s a lot of fun and a good way to spend time together since we are both so busy lately. When we sit down, the movie goes in and we enjoy great eats and a good show. Don’t worry, we still share with the furry family members. LOL
Sharon: Thanks for sharing such beautiful family traditions. This has indeed been a delightful visit. Thank you so very much for dropping in to chat with us today. I wish you and your son and your critters a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Oliver escorts Janet to the door, helps her into her coat and scarf and bids her farewell, but not before stealing a kiss under the mistletoe… (Janet grins from ear to ear before grabbing Oliver and dipping him for another kiss, making the most of a wonderful Christmas moment.)
I've been told "remember us when you're famous" by several people I know, especially
after they heard I've written three books. But that is not my intentions.
My intentions is to have something out there for people to enjoy, to talk about,
to wonder where in the heck the idea for that book came from. Not for fame and fortune.
After is a creation from love, love for my son. It became something fun and exciting
when he moved away from writing to other things. Stolen is a continuation of that
fun and Vengeance will close out that trilogy. But, fear not, other books are in
outlined form for those characters. Drayco, Shyanne, and Drizzle are too near and
dear to my heart to let them end so suddenly.
Innocence Taken was a step out of the norm for me. I seldom swear, much less use
the type of language used in that book. But it too was fun to write. It was a challenge.
A challenge that forced me to step out of my comfort zone. And I feel I met that
challenge. More books with Nature and Web are planned, and who knows, they may be
just as graphic. Just make sure to keep all the lights on when you read them.
I have other ideas ready when the time arises for me to get to them. And as long
as there are people who want to read my books, I will continue to write them. Even
if people forget who I am, I will still write. For it is not my intention to be famous
and without privacy. It is my intention to fulfill a dream, which I am doing...one
book at a time.
Hugs to all my readers,
To learn more about Janet Durbin and her books, visit:
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!