Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Great Christmas Tree Tour: Blythe Gifford & Drawing

Last year, during the week before Christmas, I did the following:
·        moved out of my condo so that it could be remodeled,
·        turned in a proposal for the second book of a trilogy,
·        had outpatient surgery. 

Needless to say, the halls were NOT decked.
But it taught me that I don’t need the traditional tree and all the trappings to put me in the Christmas spirit.  A scented candle and holiday music will take me a long way toward Ho-Ho-Ho. 

That, and Santa Lemon.

Santa Lemon?  Well, yes.  You see, my kitchen is decorated with California fruit crate labels, from the days when fruit was still put in wooden boxes to be shipped.  My specialty is lemons and one of my prize possessions is a label from Santa brand lemons, from Santa Paula, California, dated 1928. 
It features Santa himself, complete with red hat and holly, carrying a bag ostensibly filled with Sunkist lemons.  And it is so much easier than a tree.

It holds a treasured, seasonal spot in my kitchen every year, but now that my kitchen has been remodeled, I’m not quite sure where that “place of honor” should be.
So here are two pictures – in one, he’s on a counter by the sink.  In the second, he’s on a little counter space beside the refrigerator. 

I’m giving away a copy of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, the first of my trilogy about the Brunson Clan, to a commenter, so help me decide where I should keep Santa this Christmas.  Sink or fridge?  (Add your email, too, please, and whether you’d like a print or a Kindle version of the book)

Oh, and the book I turned in last year?  It’s the second one in the series, CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD, and it will be out – you guessed it – the week before Christmas.

Blythe Gifford has been known for medieval romances featuring characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. Her new trilogy is set on the turbulent Scottish Borders of the early Tudor era, starting with RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, November 2012.  CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD will follow in January 2013, and TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL in March 2013.  The Chicago Tribune has called her work "the perfect balance between history and romance."  Visit her at,, or 

Cover copyright © 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license Author photo by Jennifer Girard. 


  1. I love lemons too! That is a neat label. And if you're taking votes, I liked the second location! Ha!

    Merry Christmas.

  2. I like the second location too!! Label looks great too very colorful and bright :-)

  3. Blythe, I like it under the cupboard with that light shining on it, BUT, will it get splashed by water from the faucet? To protect it, I might put it by the refrigerator.
    The book sounds great. I love Scottish Warriors!!! Nothing better than men so tough they can pull off a skirt.

  4. Thanks for being my guest today, Blythe! Your new kitchen is stupendous.

    I have tin advertising signs of little girls in my powder room, and Mary, the one resting on the sink is rusty. I don't care because I like it that way. :-)

    You know what they say about kilts. If you wear something under it, it's a skirt.

  5. Keep those votes coming! It's one of those decisions that SHOULD be easy...but isn't, at least, for me. And, yes. I am SO happy with my new kitchen, sometimes, I just stand in it and smile!

  6. I love unique decor...this is a great story, Blythe!

  7. Yeah, I'm for the fridge, and I like the whole Santa Lemon thing!

  8. Love the whole kitchen decorated with the lemon crates!!! I am with the others who have worried about the water splashes ruining it. Put it where it is safe and visible!

  9. I think I like the sign by the fridge--that way nothing competes with it. Oh, and one of those kilted men, too. :)

    Should I win, I'd love a kindle version.
    lizziestarr at neb.rr. com

  10. Love the lemon decorations! And in a roundabout way, you're reminding me of me...our year-old grandson was here for Thanksgiving, got a lemon off our tree, and had more fun with it than any toy. Ah, those lemons!

    And...the Monday after Thanksgiving, we started a remodel of all three bathrooms. It'll be a great Christmas present, but in the meantime, we haven't done much decking of the halls yet either.

    1. Oh, but it will be so wonderful when it's done! Good luck. Hope you love the results as much as I have.

  11. I love the idea of the fruit labels. I assume they were on the boxes or crates of fruit? My Dad used to get old crates to fix into toys and things that had lettuce labels on them. Your Santa label looks colorful. I would put it where it is the most visible.

    1. Yes, exactly. This was from 1928, so you can see the lemons being heaped in wooden crates and shipped East!

  12. I love lemons! I vote for by the sink so that you can see it long as it's safe from water damage in that spot.


  13. Sorry to be delayed in response! Internet was out for three hours! Thanks to all of you! I'm leaning toward the place of honor by the fridge. Not too worried about water, but that work area by the sink gets pretty crowded when I'm making a salad.

  14. What a unique decorating looks great. One of those ..."why didn't I think of that?" ideas. I've always thought lemons in a kitchen freshened the look.

  15. I love this Santa / lemon photo! I think by the fridge would be the best!


  16. You should place the photo on the fridge. I would like a print copy. Thanks for having the giveaway.