Saturday, 22 December 2012

Guest Post - Dusty Crabtree

Christmas Guest Post – Holiday Hopping

Are your parents divorced or do you have a friend who comes from a split home?  If so, you’re probably familiar with the holiday hopping ritual that comes along with a split family.  Some people may think having more than one Christmas is awesome, but many others who have been through it would rather have just one big celebration with all the family there. 

Although I didn’t write Iris’s parents to resemble mine, I did experience the going back and forth for holidays because of having divorced parents.  I know from experience how difficult that can be.  My advice?  Make the most of every minute you get to spend with both sides of the family.  If you’re bitter toward your mom or dad because of the divorce, push it aside and realize that this time you get with each of them won’t last forever.  When you’re older and moved out, perhaps far away, you’ll realize that you should have spent more quality time with your parents and family. 

So push away the bitterness and resentment, even if your family is crazy (hey, each family has its own brand of crazy), and be happy you have the opportunity to spend the holidays with the people who will always care about and love you.  They have to.  They’re your family. 

Excerpt from Shadow Eyes:

The only thing worse than spending Christmas with my severely depressed mother, whom I felt sorry for but knew I couldn’t help, was spending Christmas Eve with my self-absorbed, non-committal dad. I had to do that as well. It had become something of a tradition for Hanna and me since our parents got divorced. One short visit at Christmas, one slightly longer (but not so long that it’s inconvenient) visit in the summer, and maybe one other visit from him during the year if it was a special occasion.
As Hanna drove the two of us on Christmas Eve morning to Cloverdale where we all used to live, I envied Jenny, wishing I was married so I could also have the excuse of spending Christmas Eve with my husband’s family.
It wasn’t even so much that I hated my dad or resented him for leaving my mom when I was ten, although there was some of that. It was mostly the fact that we would have to spend time in my old hometown—the town we left in order to get away from bad memories and people who knew the origin of those memories.
I still sometimes felt bad for being the cause of our family’s move to Lafayette, though they would all tell me that Lafayette was much better than that old, gossiping, small town anyway. But I wondered how much the gossiping would have bothered them if a member of their own family hadn’t become its source.


Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil.  But she is the only one who can see them.  She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier. 

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters.  First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

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