My name is LaQuette and I’m an author of African-American, contemporary, and erotic romance. I am so humbled and thankful that R.J. would open up her blog to fans and friends to allow us to talk about our favorite Christmas book(s). I actually requested this day specifically because today is a special day for me. It’s actually my birthday. You might be wondering what my late November birthday has to do with Christmas in December, just give me a second, and I promise you’ll see the connection. J

For me, my birthday is a time for reflection on my life and an opportunity for me to count every single one of my blessings. If you’ve never taken the opportunity to focus on the things that most of us take for granted, things like family, food, clothes, shelter, and water, then you’re missing an opportunity to truly see what’s important in life. Taking this moment of introspection always fosters a sense of extreme gratitude for me, and that gratitude always makes me want to do something for someone else or in some way, share what I’ve been gifted with.

In R.J. Scott’s, The Christmas Throwaway, Ben Hamilton does just that, he shares what he has with Zach Weston who has been turned out in to the cold by his family. Through a simple gesture of kindness Ben helps to restore Zach’s faith in not only humanity, but himself. By simply doing something nice for someone else, Ben added to his own list of blessings and found love in Zach.

What I love most about this novel is that it clearly depicts how one small act can change a person’s life. It shows us what a huge impact we can have on one another by doing something simple and nice. This unpretentious yet powerful notion is expressed so beautifully in this well-crafted tale that every time I read it I always ask myself, “What would happen if we were all a little more like Ben?”

This idea of being kind for kindness’ sake, paying it forward, it’s what Christmas is all about. Unfortunately, Christmas has become so commercialized that it seems people are so concerned with what they receive that the sentiment behind the gift is often lost. November 30th is a stopping point for me every year. I too get caught up in life and sometimes lose sight of what’s really important. However, on that day, I start taking stock of myself, get over myself, and start thinking about someone else and suddenly I’m in the mood for Christmas.

The truth is, regardless of your religious affiliation, Christmas is really a time to do something nice for someone for no other reason than it’s nice to be nice. In my opinion, it’s something we should be doing every day of the year. But if you can’t get into that spirit every day, at least open your heart at Christmastime. And if you need help getting in to that spirit—and you can’t do the whole birthday reflection thing on November 30th like I do, because it’s not your birthday—pick up a copy of The Christmas Throwaway by R.J. Scott, and I promise you that Ben Hamilton will make you want be nice, because it really is nice to be nice.