Sunday, November 11, 2018

2018 Holiday Blog Tour Stop #15 - Teresa Morgan's Memories and Mishaps Plus Giveaway

Welcome to Mountain Brook Ink's 2018 Holiday Blog Tour! We're so excited you've decided to join us on this journey of family, friends, traditions, and memories over the next month. You as our readers have done so much to pour into our lives, and this season we want to give back to you with insights into our lives AND some giveaways. The more days you follow, share, comment, and engage with us, the more entries you'll have toward a Kindle Fire Grand Prize or one of three Amazon Gift Cards! The Kindle Fire can be shipped only to the US.

I'm also having a drawing for a set of the mug rugs that I made late last month. Check them out here. So comment on the blog and I'll add your name to the hat. If you read one of the deleted scenes and  give a single detail about the scene that hasn't already been mentioned by those posting before you, you'll receive two entries. If you read both scenes and you'll get three. The links to the deleted scenes are close to the top of the left hand column of the blog. I'll draw it on the last day of the blog tour. 

Holiday traditions in my family are pretty much the usual. Turkey at Thanksgiving,  My mom was always up early to put the turkey into the oven before breakfast so we could have a mid-day meal. That was my mom's outpouring of love to her family. My brother and I would watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was always well prepared and everything ran like clockwork. Well, almost always.

Once when I was a young adult and out on my own she discovered with great consternation that  her oven was stone cold.  Dead. So, we packed everything up  and drove into town through six inches of snow to my apartment to finish cooking everything. By the time we got back, some of it wasn't quite as hot as we'd have liked, but good nonetheless. I even got to watch the last of the football game with my dad.

 Christmas was her favorite holiday. Though she didn't have a lot of money to spend, she shopped sales months ahead. If we had one tradition, it was fabric. She made my dad's dress shirts, even. Almost every stitch I wore came from her sewing machine. And before she bought her first sewing machine, she sewed my clothes by hand. She sewed miracles from remnants of fabric, sometimes without patterns. When I was a little girl, my Barbie dolls were the best dressed of any in the neighborhood. I still have my Chatty Cathy doll and a small trunk of her clothes. I noted this morning that the little swing coat  and bonnet in the top center of the photograph is lined. And when I got married, she made my wedding dress. Then, she sewed for my children. She even made this Raggedy Ann Doll.
One Christmas  after I was out on my own, I decided to turn the tables on her. I bought fabric and made a robe for her. But the surprise was almost spoiled when she decided to make a stop to see me before heading somewhere. Thankfully, at the last minute she called to let me know she was coming. I'd spent the day sewing, and there were threads and pieces of robe everywhere in my small apartment. Quickly, I whisked everything out of sight and vacuumed the carpet and swept up the thread ends and little snips of fabric from the kitchen floor just in time.  Finally, I lugged the old flatbed Singer I'd gotten from my husband's grandmother into the other room and closed the door. On Christmas morning, she was indeed surprised. When I explained what I'd been doing, we shared a laugh.
My mom also made candy--chocolate covered cherries, divinity, fudge and peanut brittle. One year my mom and one of my uncle's friends had given a three year-old girl one of the chocolate treats, but she kept spitting it out. With her little face scrunched up, she pressed her lips closed and shook her head. I remember hearing, "But Martha that's good. You love chocolate." Little Martha didn't love this treat, and no one could figure out why. Turns out one of the batches was mistakenly made with bitter, unsweetened chocolate. No wonder Martha wasn't too thrilled with that supposedly delectable treat. 

I've been asked if I write from experience. The answer is somewhat. It's difficult to write about, let alone from the viewpoint of a character I can't relate to. So, there is usually some shared attitudes, questions or even heartache in every major character I write.  In every book, I've tackled family conflict and the pain that causes, but I have to admit that there's more than a little of Grace in me.

History professor Grace Ryan returns to her hometown expecting to help her grandmother turn her journals and memories of WWII into memoirs. She arrives to find her grandmother being loaded into an ambulance. When she begs Grace to find the truth about a decades-old crime, whispers the word treason, then slips away forever, Grace is left to separate fact from fiction. Then, an unwelcome inheritance strikes at her already fragile family bond. Though God’s voice seems silent, He sends someone to stand in the gap for her.

Erik Petersson, unjustly accused of infidelity, suffered through an unwanted divorce and the loss of his children’s love to his former wife’s bitterness. A physicist on sabbatical, he agrees to help Grace dig through her late grandfather’s scientific papers. As he struggles to win back his children’s love, he and Grace are catapulted into a quagmire of truth and lies that could tear her family apart.

No Greater Gift at

Don't forget to leave a comment on the blog, below, for a chance to win a set of the mug rugs.  Also, there's the drawing for the Kindle fire. Lots of great prizes!

Here's the full list of the stops on the tour:

Stop #1: October 28 – Kimberly Rose Johnson
Stop #2: October 29 – Christina Coryell
Stop #3: October 30 – Mary Davis
Stop #4: October 31 – Angela Ruth Strong
Stop #5: November 1 – Susan Page Davis
Stop #6: November 2 – Amy K. Rognlie
Stop #7: November 3 – Gayla K. Hiss
Stop #8: November 4 – Christa MacDonald
Stop #9: November 5 – Linda Hanna & Deborah Dulworth
Stop #10: November 6 – Richard Spillman
Stop #11: November 7 – Annette M. Irby
Stop #12: November 8 – Miralee Ferrell
Stop #13: November 9 – Jeanette-Marie Mirich
Stop #14: November 10 – Anna Zogg
Stop #15: November 11 – Teresa H. Morgan
Stop #16: November 12 – Kelsey Norman
Stop #17: November 13 – Barbara J. Scott
Stop #18: November 14 – Patricia Lee
Stop #19: November 15 – Linda Thompson
Stop #20: November 16 – Janalyn Voigt
Stop #21: November 17 – Cynthia Herron
Stop #22: November 18 – Trish Perry
Stop #23: November 19 – Heather L.L. Fitzgerald
Stop #24: November 20 – Sara Davison
Stop #25: November 21 – Taylor Bennett

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teena3940 said...

Great memories. They sound like mine my mom would get up early on Thanksgiving stuff the turkey cook it and everything that went with it. There were 6 of us plus mom and dad. We were eating by noon. She's 84 now and thinks she can do it all. But it's our job now. Same way with Christmas..

Calliegh said...

Good memories. My mom would be up early to cook all of Thanksgiving also. Such memories. I wish she was still here. One scene from the first was How he grabbed a backpack to put Barnabas in before he climbed the tree. In the second, They used dry sponges to take the soot off the ceiling and walls. racky123789 at yahoo dot com

GrandaddyA said...

I enjoyed reading your memories. Christmas has changed so much over the past 40-50 years as it has become more and more commercialized. Most things are store-bought now with very little being handmade. I think it was a lot more fun and meaningful when I was young. I enjoyed the deleted chapters and commented on them.

Lila said...

Some of my favorite clothes were the ones mom made for me. I still remember the year for Easter when my mom couldn't afford to buy new Easter dresses, so she made all three of us girls matching pink dresses. I loved it! I personally don't like to sew, and my two boys don't care about clothes at all, so that's not a tradition I'll be passing down. But it is amazing to look back and see that the best memories were the ones that didn't require a lot of money.

Patricia Lee said...

I have that same pattern for Raggedy Ann and Andy. I made my children one of each for Christmas when my daughter was 3. They look so similar to your picture. Even the blue fabric for the dress. Amazing.

Teresa Morgan said...


My mom never stopped believing she could do everything, either. I wish I'd appreciated, then, how much work getting it is to get a Thanksgiving dinner on the table with everything hot.

Teresa Morgan said...


You read the deleted scenes! I hope you enjoyed them. Thank you so much.


Oma said...

For 30 years I was the one getting up early to put the turkey in the oven. 10 of those years my parents visited us in Chicago. My mom also made all my clothes. What great memories.

Teresa Morgan said...


You read the scenes, too. I hope you enjoyed them. It is sad that the holidays are so commercialized. Still, for those who take the time, they still have deep meaning.

Teresa Morgan said...


My daughter doesn't sew much, either. You're right. What matters is the relationship between family members.

Teresa Morgan said...


The Raggedy Ann is a doll and pattern that is timeless. I am constantly amazed at what my mom could accomplish. My daughter still has the doll. thank you so much for stopping by.

Caryl Kane said...

Thank you for sharing your precious memories!

Teresa Morgan said...


You are very welcome. It is my pleasure. Thank you for visiting me.


Sparks of Ember said...

My Christmas stocking is part of a matching set my mother made for each of us. I remember being home sick in 4th or 5th grade and her introducing me to crochet and cross-stitch.

Teresa Morgan said...

Sparks of Ember--Thanks so much for sharing and for commenting. What precious memories. How wonderful that your mom turned your being sick into a treasured memory.

Maria Dalmau said...

I'm so scared of heights, 15ft or 20ft scaffolding or tree I'd never be able to get back down lol. Thank you for sharing such great memories!

Teresa Morgan said...

Maria, You're just like I am. You won't catch me over the second step--from the bottom--of even a step ladder. Thank you so much for reading the deleted scene! I hope you enjoyed it!

Miralee Ferrell said...

Loved your post, Teresa. I used to sew some of my kids clothes when they were little and an occasional shirt for my husband, but I quickly grew too busy as they grew up. My mom did a lot of special sewing for us...even a Raggedy Ann...and my sister had a Chatty Cathy! Brings back memories.

Teresa Morgan said...

Miralee, thanks for stopping by to see me. I had a Chatty Cathy, too. She's who the clothes, above, were for. Yes, sometimes it's sweeter to purchase the clothing and spend time with the child.

Teresa Morgan said...


I'm so sorry I missed responding to your comment until now. How wonderful that you were able to have your mom and dad with you and make dinner for them in your home. I would have loved to do that for my folks. I'm sure you treasure those memories. As I child, I had no clue how very much work that was for her. thank you so much for sharing.