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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Vincent Curto, author of The Alfred the Christmas Tree Children's Christmas Book series

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

To celebrate the holiday season , we will be featuring Christmas books for the entire month of December Spotlights!

We will be joined today by Vincent Curto.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Vincent!

Vincent has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

Christmas Memoriesby Vincent Curto

Christmas is a time when our senses are assaulted on a daily basis. Today it often starts in November, and carries through until after January 1. It starts in subtle ways with Christmas decorations being hung in stores, something that most of us moan about; but by the time they start with Christmas carols, I feel as if I'm ready for another year.

I have fond memories of being at the mall to start Christmas shopping, and hearing Christmas songs and feeling exhilarated once again. Sometimes I would simply sit on a bench and listen to them, or watch as a band played carols, while people dressed in olden time clothes would sing along. Others would gather around and there'd be a special feeling of kinship and happiness, from those who took the time to listen.

With shopping done, we'd get the tree, and for a few weeks I could enjoy the wonderful feeling of gazing at it while all the lights in the house were out. It was such a peaceful feeling, and it permeated the entire room to the point that you couldn't help but feel happy. It had to ability to bring back memories of Christmas' past, wonderful gifts received, and a family gathered for Christmas dinner.

The workplace became a special extension of Christmas, as co-workers were in cheerful moods, decorations went up, and work seemed easier for all. Working in a large downtown area I remember how everyone seemed to have more of a bounce in their step, as they went about shopping during lunch hours.

It was a time when everyone felt happy and smiled more often than usual. As Santa rang his bell in front of a pot of money, I always felt good contributing whatever I could that year. But, there was always one special tradition I loved. Every year on one of my trips to New York City, I'd give money to some homeless person sleeping on the street. It didn't matter to me if their reason for being there was not a good one; it simply made me feel good to help someone else, unconditionally.

When the children were young, we'd spend Christmas Eve driving around neighborhoods to see all the light displays, hearing oohs and ahhs from the back seat. As we headed home we'd tell the children to watch for Santa Claus as they'd stare into the winter sky.

On Christmas day, with the entire family and extended family gathered, we'd open presents one at a time while everyone sat around the tree. This was followed by a day of Christmas goodies, before the main event of the turkey arriving, finally cooked to perfection, and ready for all to enjoy. I've always felt, that Christmas makes us truly appreciate what we have, more so than Thanksgiving, and it's this time of year that produces the memories I love to keep. They're the ones that stay with me forever.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Vincent, and sharing your Christmas memories with us!

Grand Prize: Paperback copies and Kindle Combo of all three books in The Alfred the Christmas Tree Children's Christmas Book series by The Curto Family: One Little Christmas Tree, The Night After  Christmas, and Alfred's Very Big Christmas.
2 Runner-up Prizes: Kindle Combo of all three books in The Alfred the Christmas Tree Children's Christmas Book series by The Curto Family: One Little Christmas Tree, The Night After  Christmas, and Alfred's Very Big Christmas.

Alfred is a young tree at Carl's Christmas Tree Farm in beautiful Spruce Creek, North Carolina. As all trees do, Alfred starts out with big hopes about being picked each Christmas to be a wonderfully decorated tree for the family he 'inherits.' Time passes and Alfred becomes disappointed that he has not been picked yet. To comfort him, his friend, Mr. Phipps, urges him to be patient and that one day he will be welcomed into a warm, inviting home for the perfect family. Does Alfred get his wish? Will he become a welcome addition to a loving family? Find out - read One Little Christmas Tree today!

Christmas finally comes for Alfred and he gets to spend it with Elmer and the rest of the family. Later that Christmas day, Alfred peers through the window and sees a few trees just like him tossed out to the curb. Not knowing his own fate, he trembles and worries for his 'future' for most of that week. Well, Elmer's family finally decides it is time to take Alfred down along with all the ornaments. Little does Alfred know that Elmer's family does not plan to just toss him to the curb. They have much greater plans for Alfred. What happens to Alfred that cold, wintry morning? Find out - scroll up and buy The Night After Christmas today!

Many years have passed and Elmer and Alfred are much older now. Alfred stands much taller now than he did those years ago when Elmer first wrapped Christmas lights around his tiny little branches. He isn't just taller; he's probably the tallest, most beautiful Christmas tree for miles! Elmer has been up to something the last few weeks, but Alfred can't figure it out. Some interesting men come to visit. While they are there, they take pictures of Alfred and write down some notes, but then they just leave. This makes Alfred very curious as to what Elmer has been up to. Finally, the men arrive back one day early in the holiday season, but this time they come with a flat bed truck and many more people. To find out what the future holds for Alfred (and Elmer), scroll up and buy Alfred's Very Big Christmas today!
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The giveaway is open worldwide and will close at 12:00 AM CST on December 29, 2012.


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