Today’s Featured Author: Bobbi Romans

I don’t typically host authors on Tuesdays but this book’s story is about Thanksgiving so it seemed appropriate to do a feature before the big day. So please welcome Bobbi Romans, author of An American Holiday, to my blog.

Interview

Please tell us about your current release.

An American Holiday holds the most “true tidbits” of any book written to date.

What inspired you to write this book?

The joy and madness of large (or kooky) families coming together for the holidays.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Didn’t need to. These were my stomping grounds growing up.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book.

When Kristi realizes these moments are family are a gift and one that won’t always be there. Its fleeting a moment, but for her, a powerful one.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

The evolution of her surprise revelation. I’m not used to writing such a slow progression, but for her (not him) this was sweetly slow.

Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?

Yes, when 1st sitting down, the end couple was not who I’d planned. It was plotted to have a very different ending.

Any scenes in the book stemming from a real event?

YES. Well sort of. When I was a kid I heard stories of my great grandparents house. Their basement had a concrete block missing in the wall and all the smokers in the family would sneak (Great Grandparents were anti smoking/drinking) their smokes and put the butts in hole. My grandmother (one of the smokers) said Lord help anyone if that wall gets knocked down. LOL Also, the sign hanging in Kristi’s bathroom. “When its brown flush it down, when its yellow let it mellow.” Apparently up on the mountains water conservation is a tad more in depth than most areas. My dearest friends grandparents had a sign that read that, hanging in their bathroom, in Harpers Ferry no less. ALSO, the recipe included… is truly my Great Grandmother Obaughs.

Book Blurb

AnAmericanHolidayAhh, Thanksgiving… complete with ghosts of holidays past. Those being humiliating memories of last year’s revelry gone wild: jail cells, a tattoo and rose left on Kristi James pillow by someone she can’t remember.

Toss in two brothers who, while loving, had needled her with vivid imagery on what might have happened during that fateful rendezvous at the local HoJo’s. Seriously, what’s a girl to do? She’d run like hell from Harpers Ferry back to her apartment and job in Alexandria.

She’s praying this year’s holiday ends a bit more traditional. But between exploding turkey’s, cranberry fights, and the winter storm threatening to lock them all together for God only knew how long, she’s fairly certain her Norman Rockwell hopes have flown the coop.

Adding another layer to this casserole of disaster, the high school boyfriend—who’d cheated on her two days before prom—returns, claiming to have made a horrid mistake all those years prior.

Amid all this, what has her heart flip-flopping is catching her best friend Simon getting cozy with his latest girlfriend.

Thing is, she isn’t sure why its bothering her so badly.

Sometimes it takes coming home again… to discover how lost we’ve really been.

About the Author 

Bobbi Romans born and raised in the suburbs of D.C, now resides in the south with Prince Charming and her overly large, nutty family. Currently, Bobbi is hiding from her loud family in a closet as she taps away the next installment in the Swamp Magic series.

Little known facts: She’s been on the Gordon Elliot show and has owned ferrets, crawdads, rats, flying squirrels and a barnyard of other animals/critters.

You can find out more about her on her website. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

You can purchase An American Holiday on Amazon.

Top 7 things I am thankful for this season

thanksEvery November, you see it on Facebook and on blogs…people listing the reasons they are thankful. Well, since today is Thanksgiving, I thought I would create my own list…

1.) My family – I have to start out with the biggest one…I am so thankful to have my husband and my two children, Lexie and Jase, in my life. I am glad we have each other even though I know we don’t say it often enough. I am glad to have my brother, his wife and her son are here this Thanksgiving. I don’t see them enough and certainly miss having my older brother around. I am also thankful for my parents and in-laws and that both live close and can be part of their grandkids lives.

2.) Being healthy – After having a friend go through chemotherapy for most of the year (cancer free now) and having my mom in and out of the hospital for the past four months, I am certainly glad that I am healthy as well as my kids and husband.

3.) Having the option to be a stay-at-home mom – I love that I can stay home and raise my kids. I love being able to volunteer at their schools and be involved in their activities. I am thankful for having this opportunity since I know so many who don’t have the same option.

4.) My husband – I know, he is part of the family but I wanted to list him separately and just because I put him fourth on the list, I don’t want you (or him) to think he is that far down on any list. I am thankful for having a husband who has supported me in being both a mother and a self-published author. He is my sounding board for story ideas and the first person I go to for a critique of my work-in-progress. Without him, I don’t think I would have had the courage to embark on this journey into the world of self-publishing.

5.) My friends – I have so many friends that help and support me. From the moms I meet with monthly for breakfast to the neighbors who pick up my kids from school when I need them to, I appreciate all of them. I don’t know what I would do without you all.

6.) My fellow authors/bloggers – To everyone who has tweeted or commented on my blog and to those that have hosted me on their blog, I just want to say thank you. I appreciate every one of you and the time you have taken to help me in my self-publishing career. You are simply the best!

7.) My readers – And last, but not least, I want to thank everyone who has read any of my novels or my short story, I want to give a big THANK YOU for taking the time and spending your money on something that I have worked so hard to write. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have loved writing them.

Ok – the obligatory list is done…now back to enjoying Thanksgiving with the family.

Thanksgiving with the family…and I am thankful for that

thanksgivingLast year, I wrote about trying to divide up the holidays. (My in-laws had moved near us and we had traditionally been spending both holidays with my parents who already lived near by.) This year for a while I thought we might have trouble figuring out what to do on Thanksgiving. Both my family and my husband’s family have relatives in town this week.

My brother, his wife and her son have been planning their trip since August. They are driving in from Albuquerque after school gets out on Wednesday. They will be here through Saturday.

Then at the end of October, we found out my husband’s cousin, husband, and son would be in town for her older son’s graduation from Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB. This also means her parents (my husband’s aunt and uncle) will be coming into town. Luckily for us, they all have other relatives to stay with. And as it turns out, none of them expect to spend Thanksgiving with us.

And that is a good thing as I already had plans to be at my parents’ house as we have been for the past 10 years. This year will be slightly different. Instead of cooking a big dinner, my parents are picking up a pre-cooked turkey dinner from the local grocery store. As I post this, my mom will have been out of the hospital probably less than two weeks after having spent 20 days in ICU/PCU followed by about 21 days in rehabilitation after having complications from a tumor being removed from her skull back in August.  (Yes, it has been an interesting and stressful four months for all of us – particularly my mom, but she is doing awesome.)

So this year, I am just thankful to have my family around me. I am glad my mom is doing better and am glad I could witness the amount of strength she has to overcome everything that has happened. I am proud of my dad for always being there and supporting her. I am happy that my brother will finally be here for a visit and is bringing his wife and her son who I am still getting to know.

And how can I not be thankful for my wonderful kids – Lexie and Jase. They bring such joy, excitement and yes, even frustration into my life. I am thankful that we have the means to have some great animals as part of our family. I am especially happy that we added puppy Sadie Rose to our family in October, though I am still not sure the cats like that decision.

And before he thinks I left him out – I am thankful for my husband. He had the courage to start his own business recently and through the ups and downs of that new business, he has always provided for his family. I love that he is willing to work so hard so I can stay at home and raise our two kids. I also am grateful that he puts up with all my obsessing and planning – especially in regards to our upcoming trip to Disney World. Thank you, dear!

Dividing the holiday time between our respective families

It is that time of year again…time to celebrate the holidays. And as with many families, we are looking at how to divide the holidays between my husband’s parents and mine.

Growing up, my family celebrated as a small unit – just the four of us. There were no massive get together with aunt, uncles, cousins or grandparents. This was true for my husband’s family as well. When my husband and I were first married we divided our time between the two families – one got us for Thanksgiving and the other Christmas.

Then we moved farther away, and it was just the two of us celebrating. Soon after we moved to San Antonio, my parents moved to a neighboring town, and we began celebrating all the holidays with them.

(I will say that I did offer to go visit my in-laws during several Thanksgivings but my husband always said no. In fact, during the fourteen years we lived far away from them, we only visited them two times – and both were non-holiday related.)

So for the past nine years (and for the whole time we have been parents), we have spent Thanksgiving at my parents’ house and Christmas at ours. My husband and I declared right after our son was born that we would be spending Christmases at our house. We couldn’t imagine having to lug all the presents to someone else’s house and then back home. If you want to celebrate with us, we told our family, you are always welcome to come to our house. And my parents have always done that.

Things were rolling along fine with this set up until last year when my in-laws bought a house about 30 minutes away from us.  Now we need to incorporate them into our celebrations.

The thing is his parents have pretty much given up celebrating some of the holidays. They no longer cook a turkey on Thanksgiving.  And because his parents don’t want to socialize with my parents (for reasons I guess I will never understand), they won’t accept an invitation to eat at my parents’ house. (Their official excuse is they can’t leave their 35-year-old son at home alone on the holiday. Of course, he is invited too but is anti-social so you know that isn’t going to happen.)

Again, this year my parents invited his and again they declined. My husband suggested we host Thanksgiving but since I already cook a big meal on Christmas, I wasn’t thrilled with adding another big meal to my list of duties. Plus, I think his parents still would have declined – after all the other grandparents would be there and would be commanding some of the grandkids’ attention. And heaven forbid they have to make small talk with my parents.

But that leaves us with Christmas, and I think we have found the solution. My husband’s family always did most of their celebrating on Christmas Eve. (I still think it is odd to open all your presents on Christmas Eve, though they did have Santa’s gifts on Christmas morning.)

So right now, we are planning on having his family over Christmas Eve, and the grandparents can watch the kids open a few presents. Then my parents will be over Christmas morning to see the kids tear into the rest of their gifts and enjoy Christmas dinner. I think it will work out well for everyone.