Why I’m Thankful by Taylor Lee

I know, I know. We’re not supposed to talk about politics. Someone might be offended or angry. For better or worse, I’m a political being. Always have been. My various degrees are all associated with Public Policy, Politics, International Relations, etc. I am not a partisan. In one election I voted for a Republican for Congress, a Democrat for the U. S. Senate and an Independent for governor. Because of that I faced the November midterm election with fear and a heavy heart. To say that I was relieved and thankful is an understatement. No one can echo my feelings of profound relief better than the inimitable Thomas Friedman, NYT opinion columnist. I’ll let him speak for himself:

“I always enjoy Thanksgiving, but I’m particularly going to savor this year’s in light of the midterm elections. They surfaced something beautiful and decent and vitally important in the soul of the nation. It was a readiness to defend the core of our democracy — our ability to peacefully and legitimately transfer power — when it was under imminent threat.

Had we lost our commitment to the solemn obligation that one party smoothly hands off power to another, we’d be totally lost as a country today. But instead, democracy was reaffirmed. Enough Americans — principled Republicans, Democrats and independents — sorted through their ballots and rejected almost all of the high-profile election deniers for major state and federal offices.

In “using the tools of democracy to protect democracy,” as Vox put it, they reconnected the country with something deep in our heritage — that losers concede gracefully and move on, and winners win gracefully and govern. In celebration of that tradition, I offer these readings for your Thanksgiving table:

Dec. 13, 2000, Al Gore’s concession speech after the Supreme Court effectively handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush:

“Good evening. Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. … Almost a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency: ‘Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I’m with you, Mr. President, and God bless you.’ Well, in that same spirit, I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country. Neither he nor I anticipated this long and difficult road. Certainly, neither of us wanted it to happen. Yet it came, and now it has ended, resolved, as it must be resolved, through the honored institutions of our democracy. …

“The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends. …

“This is America, and we put country before party; we will stand together behind our new president. … As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe, as my father once said, that ‘no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out. …’

“And now, my friends, in a phrase I once addressed to others: It’s time for me to go.”

Dec. 13, 2000, George W. Bush’s speech accepting Al Gore’s concession:

“Vice President Gore and I put our hearts and hopes into our campaigns. We both gave it our all. We shared similar emotions, so I understand how difficult this moment must be for Vice President Gore and his family. He has a distinguished record of service to our country as a congressman, a senator and a vice president. This evening I received a gracious call from the vice president. We agreed to meet early next week in Washington, and we agreed to do our best to heal our country after this hard-fought contest.

“Tonight, I want to thank all the thousands of volunteers and campaign workers who worked so hard on my behalf. I also salute the vice president and his supporters for waging a spirited campaign. And I thank him for a call that I know was difficult to make. …

“I have something else to ask you, to ask every American. I ask for you to pray for this great nation. I ask for your prayers for leaders from both parties. I thank you for your prayers for me and my family, and I ask you to pray for Vice President Gore and his family.”

In his memoir “A Promised Land,” President Barack Obama recalled six words that he shared with his staff on April 27, 2011, after holding a news conference at the White House announcing the release his long-form birth certificate to end the bogus but distracting claims by “carnival barkers,” that he was not born in the U.S.:

“I exited through the sliding doors that led back into the communications team’s offices, where I encountered a group of junior members of our press shop who’d been watching my remarks on a TV monitor. They all looked to be in their 20s. Some had worked on my campaign; others had only recently joined the administration, compelled by the idea of serving their country. I stopped and made eye contact with each one of them.

“‘We’re better than this,’ I said. ‘Remember that.’”

And yes, now we can remember that and joyfully surround our Thanksgiving table confident that the great country we live in has once again confirmed that while we may disagree, the majority of us believe that our strength as a nation rests on our belief “that losers concede gracefully and move on, and winners win gracefully and govern.”

Now that we have eaten ourselves silly on Thanksgiving we can turn to Christmas.  And what better way than to grab our latest Author Billboard Christmas treat:

Irresistible – Unexpected Christmas 

Thankful

Click here to buy this bundle.

My book in the collection is:

A Christmas Reunion

Not all Christmas reunions have sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads.

Some include murder.

Slow Down and Do More

Has the Holiday Season officially started?

Yes, according to the stores that have already set Christmas trees and decorations.

And yes, according to my granddaughter who announced that school is off for the whole next week.

The Holiday Season is a fun time with family gathering and dinner together. It can be stressful when we try to accomplish too much in such a short time.

According to a friend who is a PhD in psychology and also a pastor, if you feel stressed, look for the signs in your life that are drawing your attention to areas where you need to re-balance yourself.

Most people are in a hurry and spend their time running from one place to another. When we are in a hurry, we become insensitive towards the people around us; we don’t care how people feel; we don’t think about the impact of our actions on others.

Time is like money to be spent. Love cannot develop without the investment of Time.

Before we become too stressed, we need to slow down. Work less and Do more; take time to Rest and Reflect. Allow ourselves to relax.

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY THANKSGIVING

NO VACATION PLANS:

Emotional, Sensual, Humorous

A biracial lawyer and jack of all trades, he fights discrimination to win the heart of the pretty blonde travel agent.

Unforgettable Christmas Miracles #99cents #Kindle

IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND CHRISTMAS IS ALL AROUND!

At this time of year, the fortunate rejoice with family and friends, but there are some who will have to rely on fate for their Christmas blessings. Enjoy stories of how these people find romance. Immerse yourself in their happiness as they delight in their newfound joy on that special day.

Celebrate the season with ELEVEN New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Authors as they spin a variety of romances – second-chances, romantic comedies, small-town, paranormal, historical, beach-theme love stories, and more – in this Unforgettable Miracles of Christmas collection.

ChristmasUNFORGETTABLE CHRISTMAS MIRACLES is available for Kindle readers.

This 11-Book Anthology is also available for Kindle Unlimited Members.

Books in this set –

Mimi Barbour: Christmas Is For Everyone – Blizzards, puppies, and lost people. Ginny rescues an old man from freezing and his handsome son saves her and her son from being evicted. Will these strangers discover the true meaning of sharing at Christmas? A small-town, caring family romance.

Rebecca York: Christmas Captive – His life was in her hands. Was it attempted murder or a boating accident? Psychic nurse Hannah puts her life at risk by investigating the conniving relatives who want to inherit the comatose man’s fortune. A paranormal romance.

Leanne Banks: The Billionaire’s Holiday Proposition – Falling for her had not been in his plans. Would she believe him? A billionaire romance.

Rachelle Ayala: Nick’s Christmas Ride – Nick Jolly’s antique convertible turns into a wild ride when his best friend and secret crush, Hayley, chooses three social media starlets for his Christmas-promotional dates. Two irascible Texas Hold’em playing ancestors, three social media narcissists, an old-time fiddler, and a flying car seems kind of normal for Nick Jolly and Hayley Brockman’s unexpected Christmas Creek romance. A fun romantic comedy.

Stephanie Queen: Small Town Glamour Girl Christmas – What chance does a poor small-town girl have at a romance with a rich big city boy? Julie and Jack had a special connection a long time ago as kids, but does he remember that time? The magic and charm of the small-town Christmas rekindles their connection, but would her small-town life be enough for the billionaire? A small-town, second-chance romance.

Yes, there’s more!
Josie Riviera: Candleglow and Mistletoe – Their unexpected attraction kindles something as warm and sweet as a holiday candle. But the weight of their pasts could turn the promise of their love to ashes. A small town, sweet and wholesome romance.

Susanne Matthews: Forever In My Heart – There’s nothing Michael Branscomb won’t do for his brother, including marrying the woman his twin wronged, but will Callie give him a chance? A contemporary marriage-of-convenience romance.

Traci Hall: Mistletoe Christmas – West Coast – Fireworks ignite when a retired Navy officer inherits a seaside cottage, accidentally burning down the deck his first day only to be saved by a sexy firewoman and the station’s dog. Set in their ways, can Mistletoe over the holiday be the miracle they both need? A contemporary military romance.

Dani Haviland: Chasing Christmas – Only love could be sweeter than freedom. When Samuel arrived to ask her to join his tribe, rescued slave Annie thought her life couldn’t get any sweeter. But it did. 18th century American Native historical romance.

Taylor Lee: Reckoning – Christmas Finale – Nothing will keep Cal from marrying Scarlett, the beautiful blonde media sensation. But the crooked Attorney General is going to try. Romantic suspense.

Nancy Radke: The Bend In the Canyon – His wedding was scheduled in two weeks. Only a miracle could bring them together. A sweet, western romance.

Why I’m a Christmas Junkie by Rachelle Ayala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Christmas in 1965, I’m the one in the blue.

Recently, a friend asked me why I write so many Christmas romances. [I’m working on #24]. I thought back to my earliest Christmas memories and why this holiday is so special to me that I start singing Christmas carols in July. It turns out that I’m nostalgic for all the Christmases past and the family fun times and memories.

Back in the 1960s, Christmas thoughts started with the arrival of the Sears Wish Book. We would take turns flipping through the entire catalog and dog ear the pages. Although we rarely got anything from the actual wish book, it was fun to keep hoping for that rock tumbler and be happy with the clothes or books found under the tree. I do remember getting the Lite Brite set and Spirograph. Even though my family wasn’t religious, we were always reminded that it was Jesus’s birthday first but that He gave gifts to us.

Back then, we worked on Christmas plays at school and made ornaments during crafts time. I was in the orchestra and we played Christmas music like Little Town of Bethlehem. The Christmas cartoons, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, the Grinch, the Little Drummer Boy, etc. were always highly anticipated. We’d go to our friends’ houses to watch them together. Sometimes, the parks and recreation would show a movie and have a tree lighting. Everyone wished everyone a “Merry Christmas” and our mailboxes were flooded with Christmas cards and letters.

Christmas morning was always exciting as it was hard to go to sleep the night before. Even though we lived in a small tract home in Southern California, my siblings and I wondered if we could hear the reindeer land on the roof. We were worried that my mother stored books and magazines in the fireplace and there wouldn’t be any room for Santa. Never thought what my friends who had actual fires in their fireplace would do.

On Christmas morning, we had to eat breakfast and get dressed first before venturing into the living room where the tree stood. That was the rule at our house. No opening presents in PJs. After the pictures are taken, the carols sung, we’d open our presents and yell out our thank yous to aunts and uncles [even if they weren’t there]. People would drop by [they didn’t need to call or text before coming], and then we’d run outside to share our toys with our friends. Some would have new bikes. Others skateboards, a baseball, or a board game. In the background, my dad played albums by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. I also remember Mele Kalikimaka was one of my favorite songs and imagined Christmas in Hawaii [wrote about it in Seashells & Mistletoe].

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Why do you like to read Christmas romances all year round? What do you miss about Christmases past? What do you look forward to on Christmas day?

I love living everyone’s Christmas fantasies by reading Christmas romances and love stories. This year, we at Authors’ Billboard have eleven Christmas stories for you in Unforgettable Christmas Miracles. Each author brings a different and interesting perspective to this favorite of all holidays. Mine is crazy and off the deep end. Nick’s Christmas Ride where two irascible Texas Hold’em playing ancestors, three social media narcissists, an old-time fiddler, and a flying car seem kind of normal for Nick Jolly and Hayley Brockman’s unexpected Christmas Creek romance.

Unforgettable Miracles – brought to you by Authors’ Billboard