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Guest Post: A Skunky Thanksgiving by Elisabeth Barrett + Giveaway

elisabeth barrettThanksgiving is almost here! Instead of flying to the East Coast, like we usually do, we’ll be celebrating at home in Northern California. In past years, we took the kids back east for two weeks each Thanksgiving and made sure to spend plenty of time with friends and family members in the area.

Unfortunately, our oldest recently started kindergarten and now we have to follow school vacation schedules which include no school Wednesday through Friday only. It would certainly be possible to take a 6am flight on Wednesday and return on a 3pm flight on Sunday, but travelling cross-country with three kids aged five and under on the busiest travel days of the year wouldn’t be cheap or pleasant.

Still, I am sorry we won’t be making it back to my hometown in Connecticut for turkey day. Thanksgiving always brings back a rush of memories for me…roasting and cracking chestnuts to put in the stuffing, relaxing with friends and family, taking long walks around the neighborhood in the brisk, damp air, and of course, talking about Thanksgiving memories from years past.

My hometown is technically a suburb, but it is definitely more on the rural side. Most of the town is made up of dense woodland, and over the years, I’ve seen raccoons, possums, skunks, wild turkeys, foxes, bobcats, and plenty of deer. Although it can be cold in late November, wildlife is still abundant throughout the area.

One Thanksgiving, when my brother was twelve, the whole family was preparing to enjoy our feast. My mom had slaved for hours preparing a huge turkey, tons of stuffing, candied yams, smashed sweet potato with brown sugar topping, cranberry relish, corn bread, pumpkin bread, string beans, and apple and pumpkin pie. We sat down to eat around three-thirty, crowding around the big table in my parents’ dining room, which has big bay windows overlooking the front lawn. We settled into our seats and my dad was about to say grace when my sister looked out the window.

“Look! A skunk!” she exclaimed.

My brother was up in a flash, silverware rattling as he shoved his chair back from the table. “What? Where?”

“Out there,” she said, pointing.

Before anyone could even blink, my brother had scrambled around the table, thrown open the front door, and began racing across the lawn after the skunk.

“Get back here!” my mom yelled. My brother ignored her. He kept running until he disappeared into the nearby woods.

After a few long, tense minutes, during which time the rest of the family was in an uproar, my brother finally returned. He had leaves in his hair, scuff marks on his pants, and a rueful expression on his face.

“Well?” my mom demanded.

“I couldn’t catch him,” my brother admitted. “He ran too fast.”

“Just be glad that he didn’t spray you. You think we would let you back in here if he’d sprayed you?”

“Would have been worth it,” he said with a shrug. “I love the smell of skunk.” Then he quietly sat back down at the table as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Needless to say, after that, the rest of us made sure to never announce future skunk sightings within earshot of my brother.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me about your best, worst, happiest or craziest Thanksgiving memories, and you’ll be entered to win a rare paper copy of BLAZE OF WINTER! (U.S. only, please).
WINNER has been announced below – congrats to all & thanks for blogging with us!

About Blaze of Winter:elisabeth barrett
Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.
Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.
Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.
View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd
Click here to order Blaze of Winter

About Elisabeth:
Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter. Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. She is thankful for her wonderful family. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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