Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Life-Changing Tap Dance of Joy

by Wyndham Oxford III (aka Ox)
from the Piece of Cake mysteries
by Jacklyn Brady

SEASONS READINGS! KILLER CHARACTER AUTHORS ARE GIVING AWAY A BOOK A DAY DURING DECEMBER. COMMENT EVERY DAY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN.



Everybody has a secret--at least one--and here's mine: I'm a sucker for Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I read the book when I was a kid and thought it was just about the coolest thing I'd ever read. Scrooge was fascinating. Easily the most interesting character I'd met in my life to that point. He was nasty and bitter and he hated Christmas, but in the end, he turned around and became a different person entirely.

Who does that? Hates Christmas, I mean.

I didn't know anybody who hated Christmas . . . except maybe my uncle Ted. And I'm not entirely sure about him. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure Uncle Ted's problem is that he likes Christmas a little too much. In fact, Uncle Ted likes every holiday on the calendar too much. He likes to party. A lot. And his partying makes life pretty miserable for the rest of the family.

There was the year he broke one of my mother's antique china plates in a fit of temper and the year he fell over the coffee table and crashed into the tree. I won't bore you with the details, but it was a never-ending theme with Uncle Ted. Easter Sunday, the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving . . .
they all suffered because of my jolly old uncle.

But that's why I liked the story of Scrooge so much. Because Scrooge was a real piece of work, and even he was changed in the end. All it took was a trio of ghosts, some chain-rattling revelations, and (in the musical version) a life-changing tap dance of joy.

The story of Scrooge gives me hope for Uncle Ted and, by extension, for the rest of the family. Uncle Ted still likes to celebrate, but A Christmas Carol tells me that even the most unlikable person can be redeemed if the circumstances are right. Once I figured that out, I learned how to like the holidays again.

Sometimes hope is enough.


Comment today for a chance to win an autographed copy of Rebel Without a Cake (or, if you have that one already, you can choose another book from Jacklyn's backlist.)

Jacklyn Brady lives on the Gulf Coast and writes the Piece of Cake Mystery series which is set in New Orleans and features cake artist and trained pastry chef, Rita Lucero. Rebel Without a Cake, book #5 in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series, is available at your favorite bookseller now! Jacklyn loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: Website | Facebook | Twitter

eggnog photo credit: floridecires via photopin cc

90 comments:

  1. One of my favorite series. Enjoy your Holiday

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    1. Thanks bookwomen! I hope you enjoy your holidays too.

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  2. I would love to read this book—±thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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    1. Thanks for stopping by skkorman. I've got your name in the hat :)

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  3. Lovely Christmasy cover. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.kuzlin at aol.com

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Kuzlin. Putting your name in the hat right now. Happy holidays!

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  4. Sometimes hope is enough. it can work wonders.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. Yes it can! Thanks for stopping by today.

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  5. I, too, am a fan of Dicken's Christmas Carol. I have several copies (different versions with Scrooge played by various actors) on DVD which I watch every year. dbahn@iw.net

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    1. We have several copies here at our house, too--everything from Disney to George C Scott, and back further than that. It's definitely a classic.

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  6. A Christmas Carol is one of my favorites, too. Don't give up on Uncle Ted. There's still hope.
    bevarcher AT me DOT com

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    1. That's what I'm counting on, Booklady. I choose to believe that it's never too late.

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  7. I've never been overly fond of "A Christmas Carol". But I understand what you are saying about it. What I like about Christmas is the white snow outside and the warmth and pretty lights inside. The coziness that all those lights and decorations give. I miss them when I have to put them away.

    ElaineE246(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. I grew up with white Christmases but we don't get the snow here in New Orleans. I don't miss walking and driving on the ice, but I do miss looking at the snow. Christmas isn't the same without it. Enjoy!

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    2. My husband hates winter so we will be in Arizona this year for Christmas. I like winter. He is retired now so we can be down south for a few months, but I don't know if I am going to like it. We might have to try separate Christmases next year...

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  8. Sounds like a great read.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rita! Happy Holidays.

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  9. We all have that. " someone " in our family. Thank you for this giveaway, God Bless, RLM. ruthmazur46@gmail.com

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    1. Yes, we do all have that "someone" don't we? That's both good news and bad news, I guess. It's sad to know that other people are struggling, but it helps to know we're not alone in the struggle.

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  10. Hope. We all have it, don't we, and also that person we know and love who is just a bit much sometimes.

    I think my favorite story is "It's a Wonderful Life." I love the original but even the Hallmark versions where someone who is a bit of a Scrooge gets a look at a different version of their life always makes me think about mine. This is a new series to me - more for the TBR! Thanks.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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    1. I agree! "It's a Wonderful Life" is a great story, probably because it's such a universal theme.

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  11. Sounds like an interesting fellow - but I think he might be a little more tolerable than Scrooge? One can only hope....a small word, a huge feeling. I have not read any of your books yet and this one sounds like a great one to start with! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

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    1. Your name's in the hat, Mama Cat. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  12. EVERYONE has a relative like that. I started enjoying holidays more when I figured out that the "Rockwell" pictures were just that pictures-not actual families. I like the old Christmas movies because they reflect the spirit of Christmas.

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    1. sorry I forgot my email. stclairck@gmail.com

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    2. That's such an important point, Caryn. Trying to live up to that Rockwell ideal is impossible and makes most of us crazy trying.

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  13. "A tap dance of joy"
    Lovely

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. I have to confess, it makes me giggle every time I use that term.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sandy. Your name's in the hat for today's drawing.

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  15. I'm looking forward to the latest in the Piece of Cake series. Good stories, good characters.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen! Happy Holidays to you.

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  16. I can't say I'm really a fan of A Christmas Carol---but then since I really don't have much family, the holidays tend to be lonely times and I have to work at keeping up my good spirits. So I try to find a new charity to work with each year.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Agreed, Sue! The holidays are a rough time to be without family or even far away from family. Even though I have family, there's divorce and distance and because of those things I've spent more holidays alone than I like to admit. It's not easy at all. I admire your commitment to working with a new charity each year. I think that getting outside of ourselves and thinking about others is the key, don't you?

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  17. What an opportunity. Scrooge redemption is always a good story.
    laughlincat at gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jake. Your name is in the hat!

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  18. My favorite version of A Christmas Carol stars Alastair Sim - I watch it every year.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. That's a classic version, taurus, and one of my favorites for sure!

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  19. I had an Uncle Ted growing up, only his name was Ralph.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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    1. Let's hope that both Uncle Ted and Uncle Ralph find redemption some day, for all our sakes. Thanks for stopping by, ellie.

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  20. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Dnrocker@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Dawn. Today's winner will be posted on the website tomorrow!

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  21. I'm not much of 'A Christmas Carol" fan but love the Piece of Cake series!
    afarage(at)earthlink.net

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    1. LOL, Alicia. The world is a better place because we're not all exactly the same, and isn't THAT good news? I'm so glad you enjoy the series.

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  22. Looking forward to the next book in this series!
    jeosmond@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks Jilzee! I'm checking the last few comments here and will be drawing the winner and posting within the hour.

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  23. Keeping my fingers crossed that I'll win.....

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Connie. Your name is in the hat!

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  24. Was going to New Orleans in February but the trip got cancelled.
    Looking forward to the new books.
    thanks
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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    1. I'm sorry about your trip. Hopefully you'll make it to New Orleans soon!

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  25. As usual, I'm behind one in series. Just started reading #4 Cakes of Wrath. So, just saying I'll be ready for this when the giveaway is awarded. Enjoying the giveaways and posts!

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    1. There's nothing wrong with being behind. I'm so far behind on some of the series that I enjoy you'd probably laugh if I shared the details :)

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  26. I love this series, what a great Christmas present to myself if I won, LOL. Yes, Scrooge definitely was a tough nut to crack, I think I might have changed after one ghost visit (actually I probably would have had a heart attack, LOL) but it took 3 to change his mind. It is a great story of hope that bad things can change.
    momzillasteel@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Debbie. I'm so glad you're enjoying the series. I'm with you on the ghosts, too. One would have been enough--if I survived!

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  27. An intriguing giveaway. Thanks for this post. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm putting your name in the hat right now!

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  28. This is a captivating and wonderful series which interest me greatly. many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying the series! Happy holidays!

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  29. I grew up with a father who loved Christmas. Our house was decorated with lights, figures, trees, and much more. Than I got married and the first year or two of our marriage it was wonderful. Than it seemed like Christmas became just like any other day no matter how hard I tried to make it festive and fun. It is definitely an empty spot in my heart. robeader53@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Robin. I can definitely relate! I'm hoping you find some Christmas magic this year.

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  30. Love the title. Bobbipad at gmail.com

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    1. Thanks Barbara! I'm having fun with the titles in this series. Happy holidays!

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  31. I like Christmas, I just hate buying gifts. I can never figure out what to get anyone. I have no imagination.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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    1. Shopping can be hard work, that's for sure. I used to dread the annual trek-to-the store routine until I spent a few Christmases in such a bad place financially I couldn't buy anything for anyone. I hated not being able to give gifts to my kids so much I found myself enjoying shopping again :) Not that I recommend that method or anything. It's way too painful :)

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  32. Just saw original A Christmas Carol on the big screen. Hope is always there. Thanks for the chance to win.
    robertscm01@comcast.net

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    1. Now that's something I've never done. May have to check it out on the big screen if I get the chance.

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  33. Hope is necessary to life - thanks for this chance.

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  34. I grew up and live in the New Orleans area. The author expertly captures the flavor of the city.

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    1. Oh, Annette, thank you! I really do work hard at getting the city right so your note just made my entire month! I want so much to represent the city and the people who live there with dignity and respect. Thank you, thank you!

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  35. This sounds like a really good book. Thanks for the chance!!

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    1. You are most welcome. The authors here at Killer Characters love giveaways. We do them as often as we can.

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  36. I've always loved the Bill Murray movie version ~ 'Scrooged'. Carol Kane always makes me laugh!

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    1. You know, I'm not really a Bill Murray fan, but I do enjoy "Scrooged." Carol Kane is a favorite. Loved her in "The Princess Bride," too.

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  37. Love this series, need to catch up.
    dotkel50 at comcast dot net

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    1. Thanks Dotty! I'm so glad you enjoy the books.

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  38. Oops - sorry I forgot to add my email...londonandlisa@gmail.com

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  39. Love this series, need to catch up.

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  40. I really like this series, the characters and the setting. I don't think I know anyone who truly hates Christmas.

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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  41. oooh! i LIKED the first 2!, i haven't gotten my paws on any others yet and would be thrilled to!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the first two. Your name is in the hat for the drawing.

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  42. The Story Christmas Carol, lets us know everyone can change. Thanks for the contest.

    Vera Wilson said
    snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

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    1. You're so welcome! I'm putting your name in the hat right now.

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  43. Love your Christmas stories about your uncle. There's one in every family! Love to win the book!

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    1. Thanks, Margo. Sometimes it's hard to talk about that one person in the family, but I agree, we all have them.

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  44. I've read the first 3, great series,. but somehow missed #4 and now #5 coming out. Love to win #4. Thank you!
    Colleenmvotour@yahoo.com

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  45. Think I love all cozies but food cozies are special, particurly one for Christmas.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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