Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome back the ever fabulous Amy Lane! Amy is here to talk more about her newest release, Christmas Kitsch, which I just loved beyond reason (seriously, read it!). She has also brought a great giveaway and a fun scavenger hunt for her blog tour. So please join me in giving Amy a big welcome!
Welcome to the blog tour for Christmas Kitsch, a full length novel featured in Riptide’s Home for the Holidays Christmas bundle. The story focuses around Rusty Baker, a once spoiled rich kid who finds himself homeless for the holidays, because he fell in love with Oliver Campbell, his best friend from high school.
In honor of their rather rocky beginning in the crappy apartment with the hand-me-down furniture, I went back to my own roots with my beloved Mate. In the course of the blog tour, I’ll be sharing some highlights (and low-lights) of my first year with Mate–and how I drew on that to write Rusty and Oliver, and hopefully you’ll see why these guys are so very close to my heart.
Hand-Me-Downs by Amy Lane
I know—those of you who follow me and know me are aware of his complete amazeballs Mate potential—he has followed me through thick and through thicker, with thin but a distant memory of our twenties. He’s seen me through four kids and through jobs and has watched me implode in pretty much every workplace I’ve ever worked by benefit of a mouth that I just could not seem to reign in. He watched me come home after I’d flushed away an entire stable career, and he’s supported me through that too.
He’s not always great with the thing to say, but he’s always great with the thing to do, and where he doesn’t always bring me flowers, he always makes sure I have a comfortable office chair because he knows I’d ignore the flowers to write anyway.
In short, he’s my Mate, but he does not interview well, and when I was twenty years old and told my parents that the job of looking after my very flaky self was going to be Mate’s now and not theirs, they did everything in their power to stop me.
Wasn’t much, really. They cut me off.
No money through school, no help finding an apartment, no financial aid, nada.
Well, you know—it’s not like I hadn’t been working full time anyway, right?
So Mate and I moved in together. We had his bed, his comforter, the tiny television/VCR player from his bedroom, a stereo system, and his mom gave us her new microwave, since she was moving in with her mother now that Mate could no longer split the rent. (We still have that microwave—it’s getting a little long in the tooth.)
And we had a typewriter (you read that right—this was 1988, only rich people had luxuries like monolithic word processors and dot matrix printers) and T.V. trays, some plastic ware and…
Well, that was about it.
You may notice a couple things missing from that list.
Particularly furniture, plates, and silverware.
Most notably, furniture.
A friend of ours had a parent who was moving, and he gave us the most awesome fabric covered couch—a little frayed on the arms, it was true, but still awesome—but seriously, to sit in the living room was to watch the tiny television on a TV tray from that couch. We were both working (and having amazing sex) too much to care in those days, but seriously. There was nothing to do but read my textbooks—which were all lined up on the floor in the corner.
Sometime in the first week after we moved in, before Mate started working at Fridays with me, and after my first late night shifts which rendered me positively vampiric before 1 p.m., my parents called up on the old fashioned green phone given to us by Mate’s mom.
They were on their way over. They needed directions.
Oh hell. “Well, it’s, you know between San Juan and the Manzanita split, behind the dentist office and—“
“There’s apartments there?”
“What kind of apartments?”
“Shitty ones. They’ve got blue and white flags.”
“We’ll be there in an hour.”
Oh shit! What did they want? Mate and I did what has become a tradition for us since then—the fifteen minute clean-up. A lot of that time consisted of throwing away take-out containers and finding pants.
My parents showed up an hour and a half later, as promised.
My dad was carrying—by himself—a giant stuffed chair. It was a corner piece, made primarily out of Styrofoam and pasteboard, tan-brown-beige ugliness, and it really did only need one person to carry it. He’d found it on the freeway on the way over. I shit you not. On. The. Freeway. They’d passed it on the freeway and then did a loop at the next exit so they could pick it up from the side of the road and put it in the truck. They thought since they were coming over anyway, right?
My stepmom was carrying a beanbag with a fake-fur cover that I remember her having when she met my dad, in 1976.
That was just the beginning.
They had boxes with stuff I remembered from our camping boxes as a kid—non non-stick cookware, plates that you absolutely could not microwave, camping silverware, a small dresser I’d had as a kid, a big horrible dresser I’d had as a kid, a mix-master my mom hadn’t used since I’d been a kid, and a bunch of books I’d left at home and they didn’t want anymore.
And there it all was, a treasure trove of bounty, for our use.
It wasn’t great. It wasn’t even shitty. I was such a horrible cook, we had to throw out a lot of the non nonstick cookware before our first year, and the silverware was apparently designed to bend when you looked at it, but still.
It was stuff. It was a place to park our asses, and something to eat from, and a visit to our new home.
Most importantly it was a visit to our home. A blessing. An acknowledgment that, well, they may have had their doubts about Mate (and twenty-seven years later, I’m pretty sure they love him more than they love me) but that I was still their kid. There would be Christmases and Thanksgivings, summer holidays and camping trips, times together and laughter—
My family wasn’t going away.
There is a lot of me in Christmas Kitsch—and I think this moment here more than any other in my life. The opening the door to my parents and finding they were still my parents, and they may not always understand what I did, but that they would always love me. I wanted to give Rusty and Oliver a moment like this—and I did.
But I swear, none of their furniture was found on the side of the road.
And don’t forget to collect the phrase “Freeway Chair” for the scavenger hunt on Amy’s blog on December 14th! (see details below)
Amy Lane has children, pets, consuming hobbies, an amazing spouse, and a very dirty house. The only time she does housework is Christmas, so that children, pets, spouse, hobbies, and home may exist in peace on hearth for at least once a year.
Feel free to visit Amy in the following places:
- Blog: www.writerslane.blogspot.com
- Website: www.greenshill.com
- Twitter: @amymaclane
- FaceBook: Amy Lane
- FaceBook Fan Group: Amy Lane Anonymous
Or to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy has brought two great giveaways with her today. They both have very specific rules so be sure to read the details so you can enter.
The Scavenger Hunt
First, Amy is having a Scavenger Hunt on her blog. Here are the deets from Amy:
At the beginning of the blog tour, I’ll publish the tour dates on Yarning to Write. For every stop on the tour I’ll have a “phrase” for the scavenger hunt. At the end of the tour, I’ll put up a post for the people who have found the phrases. If you comment — and then send me an e-mail with six of the twelve phrases and your address!– I’ll send you some Christmas Kitsch swag. The post collecting the winners will go up on the 13th (the day of the last stop on the tour) and you will have a week to go read all of the tour stops and collect your phrases. The hunt closes on December 21st, at the end of the day and I’ll get your swag into the mail between Christmas and New Years! (Hopefully after I get my own Christmas cards out in the mail. I’m not known for my punctuality, I’m afraid;-) Look below for today’s phrase!
Today’s phrase: Freeway Chair
Enter your details in the Rafflecopter below to gain entry in the *Home for the Holidays* giveaway! This week of the tour closes at midnight, EST, on December 13th. Then, one grand prize winner will be contacted at the end of the Home for the Holidays tour on December 16th. Contest is valid worldwide.
Riptide Publishing Rafflecopter Link