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Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 22

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

The 12 Authors of Christmas – MaryLu Tyndall

Captain's Log, Supplemental

Continuing the 12 Authors of Christmas, here’s historical romance author MaryLu Tyndall!

View the tour, including Rachel Hauck and Tricia Goyer’s authors, here.

About MaryLu:

MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. Her love of history and passion for story drew her to create the Legacy of the King’s Pirates Series. MaryLu now writes full time and makes her home with her husband, six children, and four cats on California’s coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ. Her next release will be an adventurous Regency out in August 2008. You can visit her on her website at http://www.mltyndall.com.

Tell us about your first Christmas memory.

I was four years old and I got the Barbie Dream House I had asked for from Santa. But the real treat was that my Dad came over to see me (He didn’t live with us) and he taught me to tie my shoes.

Growing up, did your family have Christmas traditions? Tell us how you incorporated them into your family life. Or, how you created new ones.

Stockings! My mother always gave us Christmas stockings filled with all sorts of little wrapped presents. She even wrapped things like gum and lifesavers. And there was always a special gift buried deep within the stocking, something cool like earrings or a necklace. My mother would place the stocking at the foot of my bed so that it was the first thing I saw in the morning. I carried this tradition through to my own six kids, although trying to wrap and fill six stockings has ended up being quite a chore! But they love it as much as I did.

When do you put up your tree? Describe the decorating at your house.

We put up our tree a couple of weeks before Christmas. Always a fresh tree because I can’t imagine Christmas without the smell of fresh pine in my house. We put on a Christmas album, I make hot cocoa and cookies and everyone pitches in with the decorating. Our decorations are sort of chaotic. All different colors of lights and odd ornaments collected over the years, but somehow it ends up looking really great. I also put a miniature snow village that lights up beneath the tree. Simply gorgeous.

What is your favorite Christmas song or album? (Feel free here to talk about choirs or other musical things you participate in during Christmas.)

“Oh Holy Night” is by far my favorite Christmas song. It always brings tears to my eyes. Unfortunately no one in my family has any musical talent. Even when we sing at home, we have to turn up the volume on the stereo so we can’t hear how off-key we are!

Relive your childhood Christmas mornings for us.

When I first woke up, I would grab the stocking at the foot of my bed and spend close to an hour opening all the little gifts inside. (See question 2 above). Then my sister, my brother and I would dash out to the tree to see all the gifts “Santa” had brought and to see how many of the cookies he had eaten that my Mom had put out for him. My mother always made some sort of divine home-made pastry, so we ate that first along with a big glass of milk before opening gifts. After that, we each took a turn opening one gift while my Mom took a million pictures!

Tell us about your Christmas setting--do you have a white Christmas?

We live in California, so no white Christmas for us, and since I was raised in Florida, I was never used to a snowy holiday. The only white Christmas I’ve ever had was when the whole family rented a cabin in Tennessee in the Smokey mountains one year and we all met there during the holidays!

It's Christmas Eve… Describe your day and evening.

Baking last minute goodies, putting Christmas dinner together, and wrapping gifts. At night, my husband reads the Christmas story from the Bible and then we all attend Christmas Eve services at church.

Confession time. Shop on line or at the mall?

Both! But in the past few years, it’s been mostly online due to time constraints. It’s just too darn easy to order a gift and have it wrapped and sent with only a few clicks on the keyboard—especially since most of my family lives far away.

Christmas grows more and more commercial every year. Setting the hustle and bustle aside, what does Christmas really mean to you?

Christmas is the ultimate sacrifice of love. Without God’s grace and mercy in sending His only Son to earth, I would still be wallowing in the mud, without any meaning and without any hope.

It's Christmas day… what's for dinner? Do you make cookies or other traditional foods?

The kids and I have a tradition of baking and decorating Christmas sugar cookies each year, so there are always plenty of those around. My husband makes his usually “Magic cookie bars” which end up disappearing quickly. But for Christmas dinner I always make a thick cheesy Lasagna, complete with salad and lots of buttery garlic bread. Yum

Tell us about your favorite Christmas memory.

I’ve been separated from my family for most of my adult life, so I would have to say my most cherished memory was the time we all met in Tennessee for our family white Christmas. My brother chopped down a 10 foot tree and dragged it into the chalet we had rented, and we all decorated it together. It was a blessed time by all.

What are you plans for this season?

Although 3 of our kids have moved out, they will all be here for Christmas, so we will have all the kids home to enjoy Christmas day. Our plans include hanging out with our loved ones, eating lots of food, opening gifts, and giving praise to God for His love and mercy.

Any final thoughts on Christmas?

Don’t get caught up in all the stress and the gifts and expectations. I hate it that Christmas has become such a stressful time for many people and a time when some people even take their lives. No matter what your situation, keep your eyes on Jesus, maintain a thankful attitude, and look for ways to bless others less fortunate.

Camy here: Thanks for sharing, MaryLu!

I met MaryLu when we were both unpublished. If you haven’t read her pirate books yet, you’re in for a wild ride!

Of course, I might think so only because I’m in a Pirates of the Caribbean obsess—er, fascination right now.

I wrote a review of The Restitution here.

Comments

Stacey said…
I love these books, too! I can't wait for another. I am a pirate obsess - I mean enthusiast, too! And MaryLu's books keep me entranced for hours! They are difficult to put down.
MaryLu Tyndall said…
Hey, thanks Stacey! Glad you enjoyed my pirate books! And thank you Camy for having me on as one of the 12 authors of Christmas. I can't imagine anyone caring what my Christmas is like, but hey, pirates celebrate Christmas too!.
I'm wishing everyone who reads this a very Merry Christmas!
Ausjenny said…
Thanks Marylu for sharing your christmas memories. I am loving reading the different things people do.
We use to have stockings also but not wrapped up individually.
A white christmas would be exciting for a first time.
Maybe oneday i will go somewhere and experience that but i cant quite get my head around christmas in winter. althought it would be an experience
Anonymous said…
I am ashamed I have never read any of the pirate books. I hope my local library has a copies, if not I am able to special order them.

They finally carry all of Tricia Goyers!

The more Christian books on the shelves the better.

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