Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you for taking a few minutes to stop by during your busy holiday season! Today I have Kimberly Packard visiting my blog with her holiday book, The Crazy Yates.
Remember these video stores we used to go and rent our VHSs?
Thank you for having me, Connie!
In high school, I had the best job a teenage social butterfly growing up in a small Texas town in the early 90s could want. I worked at the town video store. It was great because this little video store sat on a very active corner of the town square. And, being that this was BC (before cellphones) the social network was the square, so I had the good fortune to make $5.15 an hour while hanging out with my friends. Oh yeah, and occasionally ringing up customers.
While there were plenty of hilarious stories to go around (like the time my boss thought it would be fun if I were the “Rollerblading Rentender,” but the store sat on a slant and I wiped out half of the shelves), it was the reflection of this now bygone era that fueled my Christmas novella, The Crazy Yates.
In this story, twentysomething Callie Yates is forced to be the breadwinner in her family. Her mother left when she was twelve, and her dad developed agoraphobia. Now, just days away from Christmas, she faces the reality that the town video store where she works is closing. But rather than dampen the holiday spirit, Callie is determined to give her teenage siblings a memorable Christmas.
Rollerblading Rentender? LOL. Did you find at the time that you were simply "all legs?"
Tell us some more about your book!
Callie Yates grew up the day her mother left. It was never easy caring for her agoraphobic father and trying to give her three teenage siblings the childhood she never had. But when she learns the store where she works is closing after the holidays, Callie is forced to make a decision. Will she be honest with her family, or give them one final Merry Christmas?
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crazy-yates-kimberly-packard/1125191796?ean=2940156792306
The Crazy Yates excerpt:
Callie Yates always thought families were a lot like lottery tickets. You won’t really know if you’ve got a winner until you scratch away the silver fillings to match up the magic numbers.
Same with families. You won’t know if you’ve been lucky enough to be born into money, power, good looks or smarts until after you’ve hurtled through the birth canal screaming into the light.
Some people match up only one or two of the numbers. Money and looks. Power and intelligence. A few hit the jackpot, three of a kind.
But, not the Yates family. They’ve been scratching off duds longer than there’s been lottery tickets in the dusty west Texas town of Keane.
Callie rolled over and her alarm clock came into focus. 5:59. She even got shorted that last minute of sleep. A mountain of quilts tumbled to the floor. One stretched-out sock dangled from her foot, the other absent, the latest sacrifice to the Laundry Gods.
“Good morning, west Texas.” A deejay howled through her clock radio. Some mornings she greeted him with a cordial ‘Good morning, Mr. Deejay’ and other mornings she cursed at him as if he were the Devil incarnate. “If you’re not done with your Christmas shopping, get at it. Only two days left and, folks, looks like we’ve got some snow and ice moving into the Panhandle.”
She sighed and fell on her back, pulling her pillow over her head. This morning she wanted to punch him. Two days until Christmas. Two days to explain to her family why the only gifts under the tree were the wrapped empty boxes they’ve used for decorations. Two days to fess up that she’s known for some time that when the calendar flipped over to January, she’d be out of a job.
In a town as small as Keane, jobs were as rare as blue diamonds and were as heavily guarded.
Callie threw the pillow off her head. Make it through the holiday. Save that conversation for the 26th. Give them one last joyful Christmas. She cringed as her unsocked toe touched the floor. She’d already started preparing for January by closing off the vents in her room. It probably didn’t make much difference in the gas bill, but telling herself that her brother, sisters and dad deserved the heat more assuaged some guilt.
Emerging from her upstairs room was like crossing from a realm of peace into the bloodiest battle history has seen: her fifteen-year-old brother and seventeen-year-old sister were fighting to the death over the bathroom.
Laila won the looks lottery in the family. Long, thick auburn hair that belonged in a shampoo ad, not on the head of a poor west Texas teen, was Laila’s strength and the family’s curse, especially when it came to shower time.
The beleaguered it-takes-so-much-work-to-be-pretty whining amplified by don’t-hate-me-because-I’m-beautiful moaning usually ended with no-one-gets-me desperation. On a weekly basis Callie was hiding the scissors to prevent someone from cutting off Laila’s hair. Sometimes even hiding them from herself.
Blake’s recent growth spurt gave him a four-inch advantage over Laila, but his sister fought dirty.
“Laila, I’ll be out in three minutes,” he said, his bony arms trying to elbow her out of the doorframe. “After that it’s all yours.”
“You go in there and I’ll tell the entire school that I caught you with my aerobics DVDs.”
Callie cringed. It would have been so much easier if he’d been using those videos for working out.
The story sounds like it would be a fun read.
Let's see what we can find out about Kimberly.
Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of edgy women’s fiction. She began visiting her spot on the shelves at libraries and bookstores at a young age, gazing between the Os and the Qs. Kimberly received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and has worked in public relations and communications for nearly 20 years.
When she isn’t writing, she can be found running, doing a poor imitation of yoga or curled up with a book. She resides in Texas with her husband Colby, a clever cat named Oliver and a yellow lab named Charlie.
Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors. Other published works by Kimberly includes a Christmas novella, The Crazy Yates, and the sequels to Phoenix, Pardon Falls and Prospera Pass. Her latest novel, Vortex, will be released in early 2019.
Follow Kimberly online at www.kimberlypackard.com, Twitter or Instagram @kimberlypackard, or Facebook, www.facebook.com/kimberlypackardauthor.
Thank you, Kimberly, for stopping by and sharing your book with us. I hope you have great success with it.
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Thanks & Happy Holidays