Thursday, April 5, 2012

Party Like It's Your Birthday

A great big Happy Birthday to paranormal romance author Carrie Ann Ryan! We're here today and tomorrow celebrating in her honor. And I'm also going to tell you about my favorite birthday memory. Plus, I'm giving away this cool pair of earrings and when you comment, you get a entered for a chance to win either a Kindle Touch or a $60 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Sweet!

Cue wavy lines and piano music: Way back in the summer of 1996 I was a horse-crazy teenager. Funny, because when I was little I was afraid of horses. But I always liked animals and somehow the magic wheel of love landed on horses. I wanted one so bad. Maybe because we leased property from our neighbor and his daughter had this ancient nag they called Frisbee and we called Old Gray. A gentler horse has never graced the earth. I wallered all over that mare with a saddle and without. But she was ancient and it took way too much energy to get her to trot. So I begged for a horse of my own. And I just knew for 8th grade graduation I was getting horse because my paternal grandma had given me enough money to buy a saddle.

Yes, I was supposed to have gotten one. But the guy apparently got a better offer. The summer started with me horseless. No matter, because we always spent two weeks at the lake in May and I wouldn't have been home to ride anyway. June rolled around, I was still horseless, but my trusty cowboy hat and lace-up boots went everywhere with me. Enter my birthday. No horse in sight. As a special treat my mom and maternal grandma were taking me on the Showboat Branson Belle, a paddle wheeler that cruises along scenic Table Rock Lake. At the time, they had a Vaudeville-style show and lunch or dinner. We got up early to go down to my grandma's house (she used to live right down the hill from us). My dad was already up and down there, mowing her lawn. My mom is the type of person who is always late, but that day it seemed like everyone was taking forever (you know how teenagers are) to get ready.

Along comes a guy on a pinto horse. Lucky, I thought. It was a beautiful morning for a ride. I was sitting on the deck, waiting for Mom and my grandma to hurry up when the horse pulled into the driveway. I mean, technically they don't pull in like a car, but you get what I mean. My dad was off the lawn mower by then. The guy, beer in one hand, cigarette in the other, asked if he could have a drink of water. Bizarre, right? My dad instructed me to go inside and get it. Inside, Mom and Grandma were asking what I was doing. I explained. We all headed back outside. The guy asked if we knew anyone looking to buy a horse. I looked to my dad. He had his wallet in hand. "I don't know how much I have in my wallet."

Me, dumb as a box of rocks, immediately doubted there was enough money in his wallet to cover the price of a horse. Imagine my surprise when he started handing me $100 bills. Especially when there were enough hundreds to pay for the horse. Like a little girl, I started blubbering. We have this on video. It's another one of those I'd like to burn because it's not flattering in any way, shape, or form. And my dad asked why I was crying. Well, it's really because I am a cry baby, but it was a total surprise.

Her name was Jill and she was a bay and white foxtrotter who was 100% left-handed and couldn't turn a sharp right to save her life, but she was a great trail horse. Although she did kind of have an attitude. By the way, we did go to the Branson Belle after that. That wasn't just a ploy to get me down to my grandma's. All in all, it was a pretty awesome day. I rode Jill for about two years before Mom and Dad bought me a quarter horse named Tuff, but that's a whole other story.

So, now that you're bored out of your mind by my rambling story, I'm offering you a chance to win a pair of very summery earrings. Think of how stunningly spectacular these dangle earrings will look, swaying in a summer breeze as you toss your head like a model at a photo shoot. Leave a comment and preferably a way to get a hold of you when the hop is over. Be sure to comment if you want to win a chance at that Kindle Touch and the gift card too.

Oh! Also, I'm host a blog hop on April 27-29th, so if you're an author or blog host and you wan to participate, you can find out more here.


  1. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing and for participating in the hop!
    The earrings are too cute!
    Happy Birthday Carrie Ann!

  2. First, happy birthday, Carrie.
    Second, wow! I say this sounds like the best birthday ever, Allison. What a fantastic story.


    And Allison, I just loved your story :) Your parents sound how they presented your horse to you!

  4. Hi Allison great story :) When I was a little girl I begged my dad for a horse! Finally he broke down and got me one for Christmas... hehe It taught me a lesson because horse's are a lot of work! But it was worth it I loved him, oh his name was Sonny and he was a quarter horse. Thanks for the chance to win.

  5. Awwww...what a great story, Allison! And happy birthday, Carrie!!!!

  6. Happy Birthday to Carrie Ann Ryan!

    And what an awesome,heartfelt story of your first horse. Love the beer and cig part, too. What a great memory.


  7. Happy birthday, Carrie! And to you, Allison, I think I got stuck on the part of you being a teenager in 1996. OMG! I feel old.
    Today is my baby son's birthday! Tyler's 34. It was hard for all of us when, four years ago on this same day, my beloved mother passed away. I wrestled with this. My awesome husband made things right when he told me that my mother was reborn to the heavens on this auspicious same day that her grandson was born.
    Oh, and I never got a pony. :-(

    Hope you'll register me for all your goodies! I wish I could put sticky glue on my name but alas, that's not going to work!
    Fun post. Lala

  8. Such a great story. Happy Birthday Carrie Ann!!
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  9. Glad you're all stopping by and that you like the story.

    I should've also mentioned I was born on my mom's birthday. She didn't get any cake that day. Teehee. I'm ornery like that.

  10. What a great story! I've always wanted a horse--especially after I read all of the Black Beauty stories. Never mind that we lived in the suburbs and weren't allowed to have horses. I told my parents they could cut the corner off my room and I could keep him there. LOL! I was serious too!!

  11. I enjoyed reading your ramblings. Thanks for having the blog hop. I have been introduced to a lot of new authors to me.
    JWIsley (at) aol (dot) com

  12. Great post. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. Happy B-day Carrie!!!!

  14. That was a great story. I have always wanted a horse, but we never owned any land when I was growing up.

  15. Such pretty earrings. Thanks for the chance to win. A very Happy Birthday to Carrie Ann. I hope you get your wish.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  16. I loved your story!! My children are so lucky...their school is right next to a horse pasture. They are out all the time. I love it.
    The earrings are beautiful!! And I would look like a model wearing them :)

    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  17. Such a great story! Not boring at all! :) Thanks for sharing it with us and thank you for the giveaway!

  18. LOL...I feel you on this story. My first was a racing horse and she was awesome. Her name was Kid and had the smoothest canter ever!!! I only had her for the summer but it was the best summer ever! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  19. I'm here for the hop and would love the Kindle and giftcard. I love the earings too! Very nice :)

    sumopalk (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. Great story! Thanks for the giveaway, cute earrings! I would love to win a Kindle. cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

  21. Great story. I have personally always been afraid of horses, and then found out in my 20's that I am actually allergic to them.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  22. Haven't ridden a horse is years but I remember loving it!

  23. I have a niece who is horse crazy and if presented with a horse that way she would blubber too! Great story!


  24. Way to make me feel old, OMG all the WAY back to 1996?!? LOL

  25. I had a horse when I was about 15. He was Quarter horse and Arabian mix. His name was Sir Rio. Nice ear rings too.
    Happy Birthday to Carrie Ann
    Seawitch Reviews @

  26. What a great story! I can imaging breaking down in tears over something like that. I'm a cry baby too. I admit it. :)

    Thank you for celebrating Carrie Ann's birthday by participating in the blog hop and for the giveaway as well.


  27. I love horses, but they can be a lot of work. Happy blog hop. :)

  28. WELL...That was a blubber-worthy surprise! Thanks for sharing.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  29. Happy Birthday Carrie Ann and everyone who is celebrating a birthday this month. I'd love to be included in the drawing for the Kindle and gift card. The earring are beautiful too, I think my daughter would love them.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  30. Just a beautiful story, Allison! Thank you so much for participating in this hop and for the amazing giveaway chance at those gorgeous earrings!! :D

    Happy Birthday Carrie and to everyone celebrating a birthday in April!

    GFC follower robertsongena
    email subscriber

    Gena Robertson

  31. Woohoo! Happy Birthday Carrie Ann!

    What a great way to discover new authors/blogs and visit with old friends. Everybody wins this way! LOL

    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win such a fantastic prize! <^_^>


  32. Very nice story. Thanks for sharing.


  33. What an awesome birthday story!

    Thanks for participating in Carrie Anne's birthday celebration hop!
    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

  34. Thanks for the great story! I was horse crazy too! (I still am....)

    elizabeth @ bookattict . com