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Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For! Sharon Donovan. Christmas Blog Event.


Welcome to my ‘What Every Woman Wants Beneath Her Christmas Tree’ blog event. Every two days, either an author or vendor visits A Writer’s Mind to leave something beneath this blog’s Christmas Tree for YOU. In addition, every commenter on any post is entered for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Amazon. This event has been a pure joy to host. And it’s not over yet!

Today and tomorrow, I’ve the pleasure of welcoming over the lovely Sharon Donovan. Sharon is very graciously offering snowflake wine chimes, cork screw and cocktail napkins to one lucky commenter!

Let’s hear from Sharon…

A warm thank you to Sky for hosting this beautiful Christmas blog. My topic is…

Be Careful What You Wish For.

It happened to me back in the eighties. Does anyone remember the home jewelry parties? Well, I do and I’ll never forget my one and only experience. It happened one Christmas. Enjoy!

Diva Queen

“And here’s our show stopper,” the jewelry representative held up a sleek snake necklace with emerald green eyes. “Can’t you just see yourself at all the Christmas parties in this breathtaking piece? And it can be yours in a heartbeat. All you need do is host the next jewelry party at your house, sell enough jewelry to meet the quota—and this hostess gift is yours! Now which of you lovely ladies is gonna be the Diva Queen of all his dreams?”

I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The emerald green snake eyes had me hypnotized. Before I could stop myself, I shot my hand high in the air. Practically panting, I screamed with gusto. “Me! I’ll host the next party. That necklace is mine!”

For the next two weeks before my party, I walked around with my head in the clouds, dreaming of the gorgeous necklace I’d showcase at all the upcoming Christmas parties. I walked around with stars in my eyes. I dreamed of it and counted the days until it was mine. In between decorating the house, trimming the tree and baking cookies, I went shopping for a dress regal enough to complement my show stopper.

Humming a verse or two of All I want for Christmas, I called every friend, relative and co-worker I could think of, making certain I’d sell enough jewelry to win my hostess gift. On the morning of my party, I even went so far as to post signs on telephone poles, bribing the unsuspected with promises of cookies and hot buttered rum. Giddy with delight, I ushered the jewelry representative in on a blast of cold winter wind.

“Come on in. I have a table ready for you in the living room. Go on and set things up. I’ll just check on the refreshments.”

And before long, the house was bustling with excitement as guests chose accessories to jazz up holiday wardrobes. And by the end of the party, I far exceeded the points I needed to claim my hostess gift. The minute all points were tallied, I screamed loud enough to wake the living dead.

“YES!”

But two weeks later, guests began calling me, curious as to the whereabouts of their orders. Puzzled, I called the representative, who assured me the shipment was just running a little late due to the Christmas rush. But when guests began calling me and leaving irate messages on my machine, I got suspicious.

“How dare you try and pull one over on us,” a co-worker screeched. “Of all the people in the world, you’d be the last person I’d suspect of stealing money.”

Something inside me went ice cold. What was she talking about? My left eye began to twitch the way it did when I was upset. Biting my lip, I made a few phone calls, feeling the life being sucked right out of me.

And when I learned the jewelry representative had told my guests she’d delivered the shipment to me over a week ago, my heart sank. I smelled a rat. And after more phone calls to the company, I learned the jewelry order was never turned in. The trusty representative had pocketed my money and was nowhere to be found, leaving me in bad standing with my friends, relatives and co-workers.

After countless calls to the jewelry company, numerous apologies to my guests and more heartache than I’d ever known, I reached rock bottom. But when guilt finally caught up with the jewelry representative, she called with a full confession.

“I’m so sorry,” she choked out in between sobs. “I couldn’t afford to pay the rent. I had all good intentions of turning your order money in next week. Honest. I’m really sorry. I’ve never done this. Can you forgive me?”

Her sobbing disgusted me. Because of her jack-be-nimble fingers, I lost the respect of the people I cared most about. I just shook my head, unable to say the words desperately wanting to roll off my tongue. I simply slammed down the phone, feeling a whole lot older and a whole lot wiser.

And a few days before Christmas, when my jewelry order was at long last delivered, I opened it with a heavy heart. And when I unveiled my hostess gift, something I was ready to sell my soul for, an icy chill washed over me. The sleek gold snake necklace glistened on a bed of blue velvet, its emerald green eyes winking up at me like the eyes of a serpent. Closing the lid, I packed it away. I wanted no part of it. Because of a piece of glamorous costume jewelry, I’d nearly lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Greed had taken hold of me, ensnaring me in its ugly web. I felt ashamed. Nothing was worth the price of that necklace.

The following day, I wrapped up the necklace and placed it under the Angel tree at my church. And the minute I did, I felt the weight of the world lift from my burdened shoulders. Humming along to the beautiful instrumental the choir was playing, the sound of flutes and harps filling me with inner peace, I left with a light heart and a valuable lesson learned. Be careful what you wish for.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season!

Sharon Donovan

Romantic Suspense with a Twist of Faith

Sharon's Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Sky here. What a wonderful post, Sharon! Thank you so much for sharing. A very, very Happy Holiday to you and yours!

BIO

Sharon Donovan lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she was a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. Painting was her passion. When she could no longer paint, she began attending creative writing classes and memoir workshops. After a long and winding road, a new dream arose. Today, instead of painting her pictures on canvas, Sharon paints her pictures with words.

Sharon writes stories of inspiration and suspense. She has certificates in business and medical transcription. Echo of a Raven, a narrative non-fiction about her struggles with diabetic retinopathy, received a CTRR award for outstanding writing, and The Claddagh Ring is a 2009 CAPA nominee for best inspirational of the year. Mask of the Betrayer was voted book of the week at LASR and its video by Triad Productions was a second place winner at You Gotta Read. Other books by Sharon Donovan are Touched by an Angel, Lasting Love, Her Biggest Fan and Charade of Hearts. You can visit Sharon at

Visit Sharon Donovan's Website or write to her at: sharonad@comcast.net

CHRISTMAS ANGEL

EXCERPT

“I want an abortion,” Eve hissed, glaring at her husband as he struggled to control his SUV during a complete white-out on the northbound lane of Lake Shore Drive. Gusts of bitter wind howled, sleet pummeled the windows, turning one of Chicago’s main arteries into a car graveyard. She cranked up the radio, fiddling until she stumbled upon a rock song to her liking. “And I want a divorce.”

“You’re drunk,” Oliver said, dark eyes flashing in the oncoming traffic. “We’ll talk about this when you’re sober.”

“I’m not drunk, and we’ll talk about it now,” Eve said, turning up the radio a notch. “I’m sick to death of your self-righteous attitudes. Your constant moralizing drives me mad. I only had a few drinks. It was a Christmas party, after all.”

“A few drinks?” Oliver snorted, skidding on the off-ramp from Stevenson Expressway. “Don’t make me laugh. You were tilting back that Sangria like it was cherry soda. You’re pregnant and shouldn’t be drinking at all. You shoulda seen yourself out there on the dance floor in that skin-tight red dress, rubbing up to all the male jockeys, shimmying and kicking up your stiletto heels like you were a contestant in Dancing With the Stars. You looked ridiculous. Everyone was laughing and pointing. Honey, you made a royal ass of yourself.”

“Shut up,” her hands balled into tight fists, long fingernails coiled like talons. How she itched to wipe that smug look off his face, knock him off his pedestal. She rolled her eyes theatrically, heaving out an exasperated sigh. “Unlike some people I know, the jockeys at the clubhouse know how to cut loose and unwind, leave the work load behind at the end of the day. You’re no fun at all, a real deadbeat. Did you even try socializing, get to know some of the jockeys? No, you just sat there all night like a bump on a log, drinking coffee, eye on the clock, a scowl plastered on your face. We have nothing in common. Why I married you is a mystery to me. I want out, the sooner the better.”

“Over my dead body,” Oliver roared, tires squealing as his vehicle skated dangerously close to a light pole. “What about our baby?”

“Weren’t you listening? I’m terminating this pregnancy; I’m only a few weeks. I told you when we got married, no kids. Training horses is my profession, my passion, something I won’t give up for anyone, least of all a kid. Thoroughbred racing comes first, foremost and always. Get it through your head. The last thing in the world I want is to be straddled down with a snotty nosed brat. Not in this life. You can’t make me have it.”

“You think this is about power and control?” Oliver raged, brakes squealing, wheels spinning. “It’s not. It’s about love and commitment. Haven’t I always catered to your every whim, your every need? Since the day we met, I treated you like a queen. I spoiled you rotten and let you have your way. Not this time, Eve. I’m putting my foot down. I want this baby. An abortion is out of the question. Absolutely not, I forbid it.”

“You what?” she laughed, cranking up the rock music to an ear-splitting screech. “Do you think you can control me, make my decisions for me? Order me to go through with this unwanted pregnancy because you’re a judge? The Honorable Judge Oliver Wendell Williams presiding? Do you really think you can lock me up behind bars, hold me prisoner against my will? Make me have this kid? Because that’s what having a baby would feel like to me, a jail sentence.”

“Don’t be so selfish, Eve.”

“Oliver, the pole!”

With a screech of brakes, the wheels locked, sending the SUV skidding into the light pole with a thundering boom. The vehicle flipped on its side, rolling three times before crashing into a tree, the splintering of glass and broken metal piercing the night.

***

She ached all over. Not wanting to open her eyes, she preferred the comfort of the surreal place she was floating in, drifting in and out of. Her head throbbed and she felt something tight and uncomfortable squeeze her arm. Somewhere in the distance, she heard beeping.

Cool fingers snaked around her wrist. Paramedics feeling for a pulse? She had a vague recollection of the wreck. To her horror, she remembered the SUV skidding into a pole and rolling over and over before landing with a resounding crash. The shattering of broken glass rang in her ears, the shuddering shriek devastating. Was she dead? She felt cold, colder than she’d ever felt. She needed to tell them she was alive.

She was faintly aware of murmurs, muted and distant. Someone pried her eyelids open and flicked a bright light in them. She thought she heard her name, far away in the distance, but it was so muffled she couldn’t be sure. She fluttered her eyelids.

“We’re losing her,” a man said, panic rising in his voice. “She’s lost too much blood and is going into cardiac arrest. We need to resuscitate. Let’s move! Code Blue.”

Eve felt herself leaving her body, floating upward to a swirl of bright light. As she gently ebbed closer to the rapture, her senses became acutely aware. She drifted through a garden of roses, vivid blooms of crimson, burnt orange and liquid gold as bright as sorcerer’s flames. The sweet perfume permeating the air was heavenly. Enveloped in peace and tranquility, she passed through a veil of flowers. With a flutter of gossamer wings, a beautiful cherub materialized. The angel was breathtakingly beautiful. A spiral of jet-black curls framed a heart-shaped face, and when she smiled, lips the color of ripe cherries lit up her entire face.

“Who are you?” Eve asked.

“It’s me, Mummy,” the angel answered sweetly. “The baby you lost in the wreck, the child you didn’t want.”

COMING SOON FROM WHIMSICAL PUBLICATIONS

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win! Contest ends Wednesday, December 21, 12 AM EST.

21 comments:

Sky Purington said...

Such a fabulous post, Sharon! It's wonderful having you over to A Writer's Mind this holiday season! (((hugs)))

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Sharon and Sky, dear friends.

What a wonderful post, Sharon, and how sad that your dream of a beautiful necklace was spoilt in such a shocking way, not only causing you a great deal of distress, but your friends as well. I don't blame you in the slightest for wishing for such a lovely piece of jewellery, but perhaps it was meant for you to give away the treasure to someone who maybe never owned anything so beautiful before.
What a lovely way to finish your story. May the angels always watch over you sweet friend, and thank you for reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Sky Purington said...

Hello everyone. Our dear friend, Sharon is having some medical problems and is unable to comment. She wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and will try to stop by if she's able.

Sharon, please get well soon!

joder said...

I'm so sorry that person abused your trust and harmed your relationship with your friends. What's even worse is to have ruined your dream.

I wish you many fulfilled dreams and a very Happy Holidays!

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Debby said...

Good Evening! Loved the excerpts. Great sound books. Decisions, decisions
debby236 at gmail dot com

Chicks of Characterization said...

Wow, Sharon what a horrible thing to happen especially so close to Christmas! I sure do hope that your friends and co-workers understood and didn't blame you for the dishonesty of that consultant.

But like they say, a lesson comes out of everything- Thanks for the reminder of the true meaning of Christmas!!

Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Andrea

Chicks of Characterization said...

Sorry to hear Sharon isn't feeling well- Please let her know that I am sending healing thoughts her way!

AND for a speedy recovery. Sharon, Get well soon!

Andrea

LRHunter said...

Feel better, Sharon. The world needs more of your stories.

Sharon Donovan said...

Sky, sweet friend, thank you for your warm wishes and hospitality. Always a pleasure spending time with you. Thank you also for sending out the word for my speedy recovery. Wishing you a delightful Christmas. Love and hugs,
Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Dearest Lyn, sweet friend you are so right. Someone out there needed the jewelry more. Greed is an evil and sinful trait and I really wanted the snake necklace and envisioned myself some belladonna. LOL Tough lesson learned. Love and hugs my friend and a Merry Christmas to you and those you hold dear
Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Joder, thank you. Reflecting on that time in my life is both sad and funny and simultaneously enlightening. Wishing you a joyous holiday season.
Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Dear Debby, thank you so much. Winter Wonders is a wonderful book full of intrigue and an excellent stocking stuffer. Happy Holidays!
Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Andrea, thank you for your warm wishes. Yes it was a learning experience but fortunately, my true friends stood by my side. Wishing you and the chicks a Merry Christmas.
Hugs, Sharon

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I loved your jewlery story. Honestly, you should submit if to the Cup of Soup For The Soul books. I bet they'd love it, too.
Christmas Angel looks like a wonderful story.
I just saw Sky's note that you're having soming medical problems. I hope you feel better very soon, Sharon.

Mary Ricksen said...

Sharon, I could never imagine you being greedy. I don't think there was anything wrong with working for a goal. It was the greed of the person who stole the money. As Lyn says, maybe it was meant to be a special gift for someone else...
Someone who needed it more then you. The excerpt was wonderful, you never cease to amaze me!
I don't think anyone knows how important that lesson was. It reached your soul!

Sharon Donovan said...

Lyn, your kind words move me. I love stories of inspiration around Christmas because they offer hope in this troubled world. Wishing you a joyous holiday. Hugs, Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Lyn, your kind words move me. I love stories of inspiration around Christmas because they offer hope in this troubled world. Wishing you a joyous holiday. Hugs, Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Sarah, thank you so much! Wow you think my jewelry story might be a fit for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Hmm…something to think about. Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now.
Hugs, Sharon

Debra St. John said...

How awful...to have a dream collapse around you like that. But, it sounds like it had a happy ending after all. I'm sure the gift was much appreciated by who-ever received it from the Angel Tree.

Loved the excerpt, too.

Hope you're feeling better each day, Sharon.

DebraStJohn

Victoria M. Noxon said...

A wonderful post Sharon. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, especially around the holidays.

Hoping you are feeling better and have a joyous holiday season!

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, sweet girl, perhaps not greed but a pretty selfish force coiled its grip around me. Thank you for your support and friendship. Never change, we love you just the way you are. Merry Christmas!