Though Donna and I have written quite a few books across a variety of subgenres, one common theme unites most of them–that the family you choose (or even the one you find by mistake) can be just as powerful a force of love in your life as the family you’re born with.
I have one particular Christmas memory of a family taking me into their hearts, but in order to properly tell it, I’m going to have to start at the beginning…and post a ton of really embarrassing photos of myself from the mid-90s.
My story starts in 1996, when my (in retrospect, very steel-nerved parents) put me on a plane to Austria, where I spent the next nine months as an exchange student doing things like accidentally riding trains without tickets, or skipping school to run around Vienna without adult supervision or a safe grasp of the German language.
Miraculously, I did not get myself killed, though I did experience a language-induced ear-piercing fiasco that has left me with permanently crooked earring holes. I also suffered from some rather profound culture shock. I’d always thought my high school looked pretty fancy:
My new school looked like this:
And, let’s face it. I’ve always been a little bit…odd.
The stress of taking classes in a language I barely understood combined with the usual stresses of being an odd teenager surrounded by people who–in this case, sometimes literally–can’t understand you, and the result started to turn me into a little ball of emo. I even dyed my hair black.
That’s when my host-sister jumped in. She turned me from Lonely Emo Bree…
…to happy, has-a-sister Bree.
They even got me a Christmas tree to decorate, even though they didn’t usually set one up. I was excited. Really, really excited.
Please do not try juggling Christmas trees at home.
I gave myself a black eye shortly after this picture was taken. True story.
This was the first time in my life that relative strangers opened their home and hearts to me and went above and beyond to make me feel like a part of their family. But it wouldn’t be the last. As I’ve wandered through a sometimes odd life, I’ve been lucky enough to stumble into a number of big-hearted people who have become a part of the family I carry with me. And that’s why you’ll always find the families-you-choose within the pages of the books we write.
Love comes in so many forms. During the holiday season, I like to give thanks for all of the people I call family.
And remember. Don’t juggle Christmas trees. I’m serious about this, y’all.
Bree & Donna write a lot of paranormal romance, which you can find at http://www.moirarogers.com They also have plans to write a lot of dystopian erotic romance, and you can find the first book at http://www.kitrocha.com. Follow them on twitter at @moirarogersbree & @donnajherren
In honor of the holiday season, we’re offering up an eARC of our January 22nd release, Haunted Sanctuary.
To enter, just leave us a comment and use the Promo Simple widget below and let us know what your best, “Hey, watch this!” Christmas-tree-juggling Holiday moment has been. If you’re too smart to give in to those wacky impulses, tell us one you’ve had–or make one up. ”
Everyone who comments and uses the Promo Simple widget below between Dec. 17 – Jan. 1 on blogcation posts will be entered to win a $50 gift card to the online book retailer of their choice. Come back every day! Open to all.