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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Joya Fields

A Grandmother’s Love and Holiday Traditions

I admit it. I go a little over-the-top around the holidays. But it’s okay, because I think it’s hereditary. My grandmother loved to bake, decorate, host parties, and cook feasts. Especially around Christmas.

I was the type of kid who wanted to stay up through the night Christmas Eve because I couldn’t wait for it to be Christmas morning. I usually fell asleep around three in the morning or so. I know…my poor parents. My grandmother hosted her party on Christmas Eve, and I remember one year when we stayed late. The clock hit midnight and I jumped from my chair and proclaimed it Christmas Day. The adults glanced at me—whiskey sours in hand—and told me New Year’s was celebrated at midnight, but not Christmas. What? That seemed very backward to me. Christmas was the big deal. Who cared about the New Year?

Some of my fondest Christmas memories involve my grandmother, who passed away many years ago. To this day, her favorite Christmas song, “Oh Holy Night,” brings tears to my eyes the first time I hear it every December. But her love of Christmas festivities lives on through me. I blast the station that plays non-stop Christmas music, bake dozens of cookies, and host both sides of the family for parties. Her recipes still grace our table to this day, and I hope to pass along her traditions to the next generation.

Memories of my grandmother play a huge role in my writing, too. Here’s a blurb of my December release, Love Delivered, which releases today from The Wild Rose Press.

Bianca McClain has worked for years to achieve her dream job in New York City. After her grandmother passes away, she finds herself returning to the small town she grew up in to ready her house for sale. The slow, friendly pace of the town and its citizens, especially Pete the mailman, appeal to her—but there’s no way she’s giving up everything she’s accomplished in New York.

Born and raised in Centreville, MD, Pete Schaeffer loves his small town mail carrier job and can’t imagine leaving for any reason—or anyone—so he's dumbfounded by his intense attraction to Bianca, a woman with a fast-paced life in the big city.

Pete and Bianca soon find themselves lost in each other’s arms. When the summer ends, they will have big decisions to make. Will the small-town guy and big-city girl find common ground and lasting love, or will their differences drive them apart?

Grandparents play a special role in a child’s life. Do you have any stories to share about your holiday memories with your grandparents? I’d love to hear them.
Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a Love Delivered tote bag.

About the Author:Joya Fields has had over 100 stories and articles published in local and national magazines and her debut novel, BENEATH THE SURFACE, a romantic suspense, will release January, 2012 from The Wild Rose Press. Her first novella, LOVE DELIVERED, a contemporary romance, releases December 21, 2011.

Over the years, Joya has taught arts and crafts, worked in public relations, owned a daycare center, helped her children raise prize-winning 4-H livestock, competed in three marathons, and even spent a year as a Baltimore Colts cheerleader. Joya loves spending time with her high school sweetheart/husband of over twenty years, two very supportive children, and a pug who follows her everywhere.


Joya said...

Thanks for hosting me today! I'm thrilled to be here chatting about the holidays and fond memories. :)

Jean P said...

Thank you for sharing your memories with us, reminds me why I enjoy Christmas so much, only time we were all able to get together.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Joya said...

You're so right, Jean! That is the fun part of Christmas, isn't it? Thanks so much for taking time from your day, during this very busy time of year, to comment. :)

Delia Latham said...

What a joyous Christmas heritage you have, Joya!

Love your blurb - the book sounds wonderful.

Joya said...

Hi Delia,
There's nothing like Christmas to bring out our inner child, is there? Thanks very much for stopping by and for your generous comment about the book blurb. :)

MomJane said...

Your Christmas memories are really fun. I didn't have grandparents to share my Christmas with, but I didn't realize my loss until I was grown. I am looking forward to reading both youe short story and your novel

desitheblonde said...

wow that is so great but i remember when we were kid she would cook every thing a couple of day head we still have over 100 people in the family if grand was here she be up and running fr the dinnere
desi the

Joya said...

MomJane, It makes perfect sense that you wouldn't realize what you missed by not having grandparents until you were grown. I hope you are surrounded by loving people and that you have a wonderful holiday. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. :)

Joya said...

Wow! 100 people? Your Grand sounds like quite a lady. Smart to prepare parts of the feast ahead of time, too! What a great memory for you. Thanks very much for taking time to stop by and comment today. :)

Donna E said...

My mother's father (Daddy Clyde) couldn't wait for Christmas. He loved Christmas and all things connected -- and so did my Mother!

"Christmas Eve Gift!" -- that was our greeting on Christmas Eve morning - everyone tried to be the first to say it -- especially Daddy Clyde). To this day, my daughter, husband & I and my sister try to say it first. But since we do not live close by and must resort to the telephone, whoever answers manages to get it out first.

When we were children, my sister & I were each allowed to open 1 gift Christmas Eve morning. Then we opened gifts Christmas Eve with my maternal grandparents (Daddy Clyde & Mama Florence); Santa came during the night; and then Christmas Day we went to my other grandparents in a different town.

I do hope our grandchildren will have some special memories.

Joya said...

Those are fabulous memories! Very cool that you raced for the chance to be the first to say "Christmas Eve gift" and received a present on that day, too. Sounds like you're doing a great job of continuing some wonderful traditions. Happy holidays and thanks so much for stopping by to comment. :)

shadow_kohler said...

thank you for sharing! what wonderful memories!

Joya said...

Shadow Kohler,
Glad you enjoyed the stories. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. :)

Frank said...

Joya, thanks so much for sharing some of your special Christmas memories with us! Grandparents are special indeed--I don't recall too many Christmas memories with them, but many others involving other holidays and special foods :) I do hope my own kids will be remembering times with their grandparents for years to come!

Congrats on Love Delivered--it looks fabulous!

--flchen1, posting using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

Joya said...

Hi flchen1,
That's great that you have fond memories of your grandparents from other holiday gatherings. I agree--lots of "food" memories with grandparents here, too. I hope your children make many wonderful memories with their grandparents in the coming years.
Thanks for the congrats and for stopping by to comment. :)

VampedChik said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I don't really have to many memories of grandparents. I've only ever met my Grandma on my mothers side. The others had passed before I was born. But the things I remember most about my Grandma was her always cooking these huge meals for the family. Thanks,

Joya said...

Hi Amber!
What is it about Grandma's and cooking? That's always a great memory, isn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, hope you continue fun cooking traditions, and best wishes for an awesome 2012! :)

Kathryn Merkel said...

Christmas Eve was always spent with my dad's family & until Grandma & Grandpa couldn't live on their own anymore, the gathering was always at their house. If I close my eyes, I can still see the tree in the corner & the pile of presents under it. Dad was #4 of 7 kids & all but 2 lived locally, so there was always a crowd. Grandpa would be telling really bad jokes & Grandma would have this look on her face, that made it pretty clear that she considered him the youngest child in the room, but you could also tell that she thought he was pretty funny too.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at

Joya said...

What a fabulous memory of your grandparents! So cool that you can still picture the tree and presents if you close your eyes. I hope you're able to continue those wonderful traditions as time goes on. Happy 2012 and thanks for stopping by. :)

Joya said...

Thank you so much for all of your comments and for sharing your memories of grandparents and holidays. I really appreciate your support of Love Delivered.

I used to pick a winner for the Love Delivered tote bag and the winner is...
Thanks, Donna, I'll be emailing you today to get your address. :)