Monday, December 12, 2016

The Harshest Critics


by Ted Nash of Better Off Thread by Amanda Lee

Your family members are your harshest critics. Am I right? Case in point--I introduced my girlfriend Marcy to my sister Tiffany on Thanksgiving. Tiffany, typically warm, funny, and inviting, was colder than the ice cream served with the pumpkin pie. And, naturally, poor Marcy overcompensated. She tried her best to engage Tiffany in conversation, and when Tiffany gave her clipped answers, Marcy babbled to fill the silence. Finally, my mother--who adores Marcy...well, now, anyway--put her finger to her lips and told Marcy, "Just eat your dinner, darling."

After dinner, I noticed Marcy was missing. I found her in Mother's bedroom where Clover, the little brown bunny Mother adopted, has been corralled during two-year-old Jackson's visit. Marcy was sitting on Mother's vanity chair with the bunny snuggled under her chin.

I stooped down in front of Marcy. "Tiffany will come around."

She nodded. "Sure. I know."

Marcy isn't convinced of that yet, but I am. I know my sister. And I know she's only being guarded around Marcy until she gets to know her better. Tiffany and my ex were practically best friends, and now Tiffany is really protective of my feelings. And maybe of hers too. She wants to make sure neither of us is hurt again.

Tiffany's husband and son liked Marcy from the moment they met her. Jackson especially. Now, if only Tiffany will give her a fair shake, I know she'll like her too. Maybe I can talk with her before the family goes back to Seattle.

What about you? Do you feel like you're facing your harshest critics when you go back home for the holidays?


Please leave a comment and your email address by midnight EST on Wednesday, December 14, to be entered into the giveaway to win one of two signed paperback copies of BETTER OFF THREAD! (International winners will receive an ebook copy.) Good luck!



46 comments:

  1. Holidays are hard sometimes.donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  2. My harshest critic would be my husband's sister. Fortunately, we rarely spend holidays with her and her family. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  3. Not really. I am my harshest critic.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  4. Just don't put myself in the situation anymore.
    sheilarbales(at) gmail dot com

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  5. Not really. Thankfully my family and I get along very well. mcastor07@gmail.com

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  6. There's a reason I've only attended 4 major family events in the last 20 years. Three in the last 2 years because I'm extremely close to this side of the family. This cousin was one of my baby sitters and his family is close with my own children. Thank you for hosting this lovely giveaway. This book will make a great addition to my home library and it's collection of signed novels.

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  7. I avoid those situations since it is too difficult. Thanks for your great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Most of the family behaves whom we see. If not, then we never get together. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  9. Well, we are the ones they come home to, so we try not to be those harshest critics!
    sallycootie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. We don't get together with family at Christmas---thank goodness!! The only family we have left is my husband's brother and nephew and I do not get along with them at all. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  11. Family gatherings don't happen anymore because we've gotten so small and older. But we had a lot of fun when we were little! lkleback@hotmail.com

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  12. Oh yeah. Those closest to us are always our harshest critics, right? Dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

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  13. I think my harshest critic is myself although I feel it started when I was a child. I've always been heavier than the other girls in school and was picked on so this gave me a complex. I've tried to overcome it with age but still find I catch myself doing it. I love Amanda Lee's books and this series is always interesting. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. Oh goodness yes my kids sometimes can be the harshest but I have seen them in years I lived in Ca and moved to Ia when I got married but someday will I long to visit them and give them the hugs that they have missed. ptclayton2@aol.com

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  15. I am very blessed that my everyone in my family is my "cheerleader," and there is no criticism ~ bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  16. Luckily there are no harsh critics when I visit. Thanks for the giveaway. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. Family can be a tough audience.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  18. I used to get wound up trying to please everyone. Gradually I grew up and only worry about me. I don't go out of my way to hurt anyone but they have to meet me halfway.

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  19. I think it's always hard to please family. However, it's always good to go home.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. Home is my house these days. Our son and daughter-in-law celebrate with us. choirlady27(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  21. I celebrate with my in-laws so I know all about wanting to make a good impression. This will be the 10th year in a row and the second with the baby so by this point it's pretty laid back and all about the little guy. Thanks! Happy holidays! 🎅🏻

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  22. When my mother-in-law was alive I never satisfied her. Now that she and most of the family are gone I'm getting along. Looking forward to reading the book -been wanting to get it. Thanks. Mary Lou at txmlhl (at)yahoo (dot)com

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  23. MY mom used to like visiting her sister for the holidays, and she take us kids along. It was enjoyable and now that they both are gone, I don't see my aunt's kids as much. But it was fun when we were small. thanks for the giveaway. Janet-monstercreed1@yahoo.com

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  24. I avoid my harshest critic (my sister). The holidays are time for happiness and people that care about you. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I cannot wait to read Better Off Thread. Doodlesink@hotmail.com

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  25. I am my own harsh critic. If I goof, no one says a word. Our policy has always been. If you can't say something nice. Don't say anything at all. It's because we know we are not perfect and will make mistakes. That old homily "You attract more flies with honey, than vinegar". Is so true. Your harsh with others. Everyone feels down. Even the one making the harsh statement. You say something nice. Everyone is more relaxed and people put forth greater effort to do a good job. Whatever it is. I would love to read Better off Thread and see if Ted is right and Tiffany relaxes with Marcy. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc ((dot) com

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  26. Sometimes it can be hard to go home for the holidays. You hope things will be the same as when you were young, but they seldom are.

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  27. My harshest Critic is a friend from College who is on the blunt side and every now and then I have to take a little break from her...but she can also be very kind so there you have it..Thank you for the Contest..
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  28. My harshest critic by far is myself. My mom is a close second. utaker555(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. I am my harshest critic. Sharon, catwoman-1(at)comcast(dot)net

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  30. My harshest critic is sneaky... She will say 'sure that's great," then start say "but..." Who is this tricky monster? Me!
    I am such a fan of Amanda Lee! Thanks for the opportunity.
    kat8762@aol.com

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  31. I am home for the holidays. I don't go anywhere. Family has moved away. So its just me, myself and I. So "we" put up the tree and party. Lol.
    Ninaatmyhouse@yahoo.com

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  32. Love the title and the cover of this book! My harshest critic would be me!
    lindaherold999@gmail.com Thanks for offering this!!

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  33. The Embroidery Mystery series is one of my favorites. I enjoy the way Amanda Lee writes about the relationship of Marcy and Ted. They are so sweet together and respectful of each other. I also get a kick out of Marcy,s Mother. Thanks for the contest Amanda, Maureen

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  34. It took me a long time to realize that my critics' opinions are their opinions. They don't have to be mine. Sometimes there is a grain of truth, but more often it is based on incorrect assumptions. cheers@Marjimmanor.com

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  35. My family is scattered but all my boys were home for Thanksgiving. What a blessing!
    Love this series!
    kpbarnett1941{at}aol.com

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  36. No Thank goodness or i most likely would not go home Thanks for the giveaway
    iamabho (@) Gmail (.) com

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  37. Thank you for the giveaway! teabird17 **at** yahoo ** dot ** com

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  38. We don't do critics during the holidays, thank goodness. Thanks for the chance to win. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  39. A bit. I try to ignore and move on. My parents have gotten slightly better at dropping the subject(s).

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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  40. They are family and they come here for the holidays. What fun would it be if nobody got arrested on the holiday? Kidding, we are all pretty casual and not too much fighting. I have a way of tuning out when the family starts telling me I'm doing something wrong. lol. Happy Holidays and stay safe!konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com

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  41. Thank you all for your wonderful comments! Like some of you, I tend to be my own worst critic. I read somewhere that we should treat ourselves as we would a friend. If only it were that easy! :) Congratulations to our winners, Kristina A. and Karen B.! (I'll be in touch by email.) Happy holidays, everybody!

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  42. Gosh I love this series! I've got my fingers crossed. (Makes it hard to type!)

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  43. Oops, forgot my email: bobwiesmann(at)gmail(dot)com

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  44. Love this series. Too late to enter but I did find it on the shelf of my library branch and checked it out.

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