Where are you on the gift-giving ladder?

Murder At Longbourn, by Tracy KielyTracy Kiely’s debut novel, Murder at Longbourn, is a mystery set on Cape Cod, and combines Tracy’s love of the classic English country-house murder with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “Jane Austen fans will welcome Kiely’s spirited debut … an engaging adventure that will hopefully be but the first of many.”

Set in a picturesque B&B on New Year’s Eve, Murder at Longbourn follows Elizabeth Parker, a young woman on the mend from a bad breakup. Instead of a peaceful retreat, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, and in the company of the nemesis of her youth, Peter McGowan, a man she suspects has matured in chronological years only. As she investigates her fellow guests — some bearing more than a striking resemblance to characters in Pride and Prejudice — Elizabeth fights to keep her inner poise, while she hunts down a killer who keeps killing.

To enter a drawing for a free copy of Murder At Longbourn, please leave a comment below!

Thanks and welcome, Tracy!

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So lately I’ve been perfecting a theory of mine (I tend to work on these theories when the laundry gets around eye-high). Anyway, my theory is this: the kind of holiday shopper you are says oodles about the kind of person you are (that’s right people, I said “oodles”).

Think about it. There’s the person who gets all their Christmas shopping done sometime in late September and then gleefully shares this abomination with everyone. These are also the same folks who design their own Christmas cards, create gingerbread houses with indoor plumbing, and knit their Christmas sweaters.

I call these people “Crazy.”

Then there’s the next rung on the gift-giving ladder. These good souls get all their shopping done around mid-December. The presents are wrapped and sent in a timely manner, leaving them plenty of time to bake cookies with the kids. These are the people who also send out their cards each year with an updated picture of the kids. Mind you, that’s an updated picture where no one appears to be screaming, weeping, or sleeping.

I call these people “Annoyingly Organized.”

Next in line are those who get their shopping done, but only after a frantic late-night trip to the mall. Their cards go out sometime late Christmas Eve – but they will go out. The presents will be wrapped, but it will be the wee hours of Christmas morning before their heads hit their pillows.

I call these people “Good Friends.”

And now for the last rung on the ladder. Here hang those well-intentioned souls who fly about in a frantic last-minute panic, forced to log onto Amazon.com at the 11th hour and pay through the nose for the expedited shipping. They send out “Happy January” cards with stick figure sketches of the kids instead of actual photos. Each year they swear that this year will be different – that while they probably won’t climb to where the Crazies perch, they will at least pull themselves up to the level of Good Friends. They never do.

I call these people “Me.”

Now, I know people on each of these rungs and the way they are over the holidays is the way they are in everyday life. The Crazy runs eight committees at the school, runs six miles before dawn, and has an organic garden in her back yard. The Annoyingly Organized finishes her book club’s selection a week in advance, irons, and is learning a second language. Good Friends have an updated calendar in their kitchen, but it’s on the wrong month. There is fruit in the refrigerator but some of it is starting to look funky. They are pretty sure they know where their car keys are.

Tracy Kiely, author of Murder At Longbourn

As for Me, well, what can I say? My calendar is blank, there is an empty plate in my fridge (leading me to think that something ate something else), and I have NO idea where my car keys are.

So that’s my little theory. Look around at the people in your life and see if you don’t agree with me. I’ve got to get those Happy January cards out.

~Tracy Kiely

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9 thoughts on “Where are you on the gift-giving ladder?

  1. This completely cracked me up… and I totally agree! Just for the record, we haven’t finished our holiday cards. We’re celebrating a late Christmas with our in-laws tomorrow and have no gifts for them yet. Ah, well… it’s better than being “crazy” isn’t it? Thanks for the laugh!

  2. I love this post! So funny! And I’m still wondering which category I fit in.

    Thanks for the chance to win your book. It’s definitely on my “Must Read” list!!!

  3. So funny, and so true. Thanks for stopping by the Ball, Tracy. I thoroughly enjoyed MURDER AT LONGBOURNE! And I can’t wait for the second installment.

  4. Ha! I find myself sliding between rungs, but mostly I’m stuck on the Good Friends rung. I wish to be more organized, but it never seems to actually happen!! Your book sounds terrific, and I’m putting it on my to-read-in-the-future list. (Thanks to Shelfari, I actually have such a list AND I know exactly where that list is.)

  5. Well…I was knitting a scarf on Christmas Eve for Christmas morning. And I didn’t actually start it until Wednesday night…

    Thanks for a hilarious post and I look forward to reading your book! Thanks for joining us on The Debs.

  6. Ummm…maybe not as far as Happy January cards… We are sending out Happy New Year’s Cards for the second straight year. Last year’s later cards were due to craziness of the season. This year, it is due to a Christmas ski trip. 🙂

  7. My family is American and my husband’s family is British, so I used to have to have all the foreign presents bought, wrapped and shipped BEFORE Thanksgiving to be able to send them surface (affordable!) rather than air or specialty (extortionate!).

    Then I figured out that I could order gifts from British companies from British people and American companies for American people, and have them all shipped direct. Yay! A little less personal (I hate notes typed on receipts, but whatareyagonnado?), but less crazy-making!

  8. Well, I haven’t started on my cards yet, but made most of the gifts this summer. Does this leave me swinging between rungs?
    I’d love to read this book, it sounds like an great bathtub reading escape (luckily, our light stays on)!

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