~*Christmas Countdown Blitz*~ The Christmas Bike ~~ Tara Mayoros

 

 

Tara Mayoros teaches guitar, paints, occasionally bakes, and loves working with plants. She’s an avid collector of globes and maps, as they help with her incurable case of wanderlust. The Rocky Mountains are her home and they call to her whenever she is in need of inspiration. She explores them regularly with her husband and three children.

 

Connect with the Author here: 

Christmas is already going to be tough for Marie and her family. When a series of events is set in motion long before a Christmas Eve tragedy, she is too occupied to notice God’s grace. An emergency letter to Santa sets her on a quest for a Christmas miracle. With time running out, she prays for the first time in a long time. A miracle does happen, but it is not what she expected.

 

                                    ~ Amazon Canada ~
Q & A with the Author:
1.  Describe yourself in
50 words or less.
*
As an author, artist, baker, music teacher, gardener, and nature lover – I the
beauty in the process, and the miracle, of creation. The Rocky Mountains are my
home and they call to me whenever I’m in need of inspiration.
The
Christmas Bike is my third published novel. I have 10 other books I’m working
on, and most of them have a fantasy element to them.
2.
What do you love most in the world?
*
My husband and kids. I love how supportive they are to me. I love to create –
whichever way possible. It makes me feel like a Goddess.
3.
What do you fear most?
*
Scorpions – I hate them! They are the spawn of Satan. We killed over 50 one
summer while living in Phoenix.
4.
What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
*
Travel – I want to see the world and do humanitarian work. My first novel was
about cleft palates and orphanages in China. My dream is to start a Non-profit
to help them.
5.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
*
Running half marathons are always hard, but I’m so happy to have done them.
Also, publishing books have been pretty dang hard – but worth it 🙂
6.
Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or
short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between.
Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?
*
I will tell a true story of when someone gifted me a guitar for no reason. I
entered this story into a writing competition and it won an award! Here ya go:
MY BEST GUITAR LESSON
EVER!
I can be
cynical. 
Cynicalbelieving that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful
of human sincerity or integrity. A general distrust of others’ motives,
believing that humans are selfish by nature, ruled by emotion, and heavily
influenced by the same primitive instincts that helped humans survive in the
wild.
I wasn’t always a cynic. It is a trait that has evolved over the
past five years or so. Yes, I fight it. I take my thoughts to battle. But
still, with all of the heartbreaking news and depressing social media feeds, it
compounds the issue.
So, yesterday when I went to a local guitar shop, my mind was
churning over a cynical situation that had been really bothering me. I grabbed
my old guitar out of the trunk, walked into the store, and placed it down on
the counter. I breathed deep, because this was hallowed ground. The smell of
wood and lacquer and musicians reliving the good ‘ol days, rested my mind. I
smiled as the shop owner stopped jamming with the only other customer in the
store and then walked behind the register.
“What’s this?” he asked, eyeballing my ratty old guitar. His
gaze skimmed over the not-so-sexy lines of my unusual guitar.
I pressed my lips, feeling a wave of protection flood over me.
No one makes fun of my blue guitar. This instrument was bought in China for $5
US dollars. It had been my companion on the dirty, rancid forty hour train
rides through rice fields and bread loaf mountains. I was stopped and searched
at customs in Malaysia, Thailand, and Macau because I as too stubborn to leave
this guitar.
I told him these things. He played it and confirmed what I
already knew… My guitar had died, but I still clung to our memories in hopes
that the shop owner could resurrect life into it again.
No, he couldn’t.
I stared
down at it a long time, looking over the doodles and the collected stickers and
stamps, which mirrored my old passport. What would I do with it now? I couldn’t
just throw it away, or donate, or keep it as a decoration. Maybe I could just
hang it on the wall for display, but I knew the o.c.d. decorator inside me
would never let me do that. I had even written this guitar into 
one of my books and
considered it a character. My heart clenched and I strolled over to the wall of
guitars to hide the emotion on my face. Who cries over a buried guitar, one
that would most likely end up collecting dust in the back of my closet?
The new guitars with their shiny wood and shimmering metal
strings, sang to me, beckoning. Their voices rich and full. So much different
than my humid warped, aged guitar. I caressed the lines of the beautiful
instruments with jealousy and longing.
I stopped. There it hung. An acoustic electric that I had always
wanted. Not so extravagant, and yet it would take me a while to save for. The
shop owner pulled it down, selling me all the bells and whistles. Yet, I had
already been sold. I just couldn’t get it yet… not for a while yet.
“Sit down and play. See how it sounds, how it feels,” he urged.
I pulled up a cushioned stool and sat down. It was like meeting
a new friend. I’d like to imagine that my fingers flew up and down the frets
with fluidity and grace, but I’m sure they weren’t, as I was still a bit
frazzled. Picking and strumming, getting a feel for its song.
I began to tell the shop owner and other customer about an amp I
had in the basement that wasn’t working anymore. We chatted. Small talk about
how I was sad about my guitar and maybe someday I’ll buy this one. They were
nice people. I’d hung around enough music shops to know that they are all
generally nice people.
I continued to play. Time stalled as it usually does when I
create music, or art, or novels. The walls faded away. I was falling in love.
A tap on my shoulder and a show of a receipt. “It’s yours.” He
pointed. “The guitar.”
I stood, almost dropping the instrument. “What? No. I’ll have to
come get it another time.”
“No really. He wanted you to have it.” He pointed to the only
other customer who was getting ready to leave. The man was unassuming in his
faded jeans and t-shirt.
I wondered why…
Right
here… Here is where my 
cynicism makes
an appearance. What did he want in return? What were his motivations? I looked
down to see what I was wearing. Turtle-neck sweater, no make-up, and hair in a
bun. I had my wedding ring on and I had talked briefly about my kids playing
guitar earlier.
“Why?” I asked.
The customer paused, then said, “because I have money and it has
caused me nothing but heartache. I want to do something nice with it.”
I refused — even went to hang the guitar back on the hook.
The kind man just shook his head. “It’s already been paid for.
It’s done. Just be happy.”
I was happy. I was ecstatic!
Tears welled in my eyes. Nothing like this had ever happened to
me before. “I don’t know how to thank you.” I struggled for words.
“You just did.”
I stopped him from leaving. “Well let me get a picture with
you.”
He refused this time. He didn’t want any fan fare.
“Let me at least give you a hug.” So I did. It wasn’t strange or
awkward. It was a meeting of similar hearts, bound by the innocent love of
music.
Driving home, I felt both joyous and inadequate. What to do with
such an unrequited show of generosity? People are good. He restored my faith in
humanity. I thought of the many ways I could pay it forward because I knew I’d
never see him again. And I also knew that’s the way he would want things to
end.
I learned a lesson yesterday. Yes, there are tough things that
we go through that can turn us cynical, doubtful, and hopeless. But little
miracles happen everyday. It doesn’t have to be something as big as this to
make you see the good in people. Look around. It seems everyone is in a funk.
What can you do to brighten their day? I promise it will make your day better
in return. It will make you feel rich with happiness. I think back to that man
and how he said, “money gave him nothing but heartache.”
When I was leaving the guitar shop, with my old lifeless guitar
in one hand and my new hope-filled guitar in the other, I looked back. The kind
man had a huge smile on his face and I knew that the act of giving… is where
the treasure truly lies.
Has there ever been a time when you were the recipient of
unrequited generosity?

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