Read an excerpt from The Basement by Dianne Hartsock with Giveaway

Welcome to the book blast for The Basement by Dianne Hartsock. This is the sequel to Alex and the Shed and is a perfect read for fans of paranormal horror stories. Check out an excerpt and leave comments and questions for the author all along the tour. Then be sure to enter the great giveaway at the end!

 
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#AtoZChallenge Daddy-Daughter Dates

My father and I spent a lot of time together. I have fond memories from my childhood of cuddling with him on the floor in the living room, watching TV and stealing his snacks. I would follow him around his gardens in our yard and in front of my parents’ store, trying to “help” as much as I could . And then as I got older, those special moments grew to take place in other places.

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#AtoZChallenge The few times my dad cried

Somehow my best friend and I got onto a topic that brought up how I almost never saw my father cry. And then I was inspired to work on this #AtoZChallenge this year, though it has been a long time since I have done it and it has been quite hard to work through (in a good way). I’m glad I was so inspired and will eventually go through all of this.

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#AtoZChallenge Dad’s Bedtime Routine: Books and Boing!

It’s funny sometimes, the random things that you think about when you remember your parents. Trying to come up with more Dad memories for this challenge has been giving me several fun ideas, filling some of the sadness that I still feel with him not being here. One of my favorites is still our bedtime routine.

I was one of those obnoxious kids who learned how to independently read at the age of two. I think it was inevitable because I was constantly surrounded by books. My parents often would tell me about when we lived with my grandparents. My crib was in one of the extra bedrooms that happened to have a lot of books and magazines in it. (My grandparents and great-grandparents were avid readers.) They would come to get me from a nap and find me with a book in my lap, carefully turning the pages, as if I was actually reading it. And then a little later, I started reading my picture books to them.

I still let my parents read me bedtime stories, though. When my sister was really little, they would put her to bed first in her crib. Then I was supposed to go to the bathroom before getting into their bed to read a book before I went to bed in my own room. Sometimes Dad would read to me while I was sitting on the toilet. But I was too content to just sit and talk and would procrastinate. I was a night owl back then and still am.

I had this handmade Raggedy Ann doll that my aunt gave me when I was a baby. Somehow I had managed to pull out all of her curls so that she had a bunch of red spikes instead of loops. And she was practically as tall as I was as a toddler. But I dearly loved her and often brought her into the bathroom with me. The obligatory crocheted baby blanket also accompanied us both.

One night, I suspect Dad was getting tired of waiting for me to stop talking and just go potty. We were just talking, and I was probably singing or something. Dad subtly looked at his watch and saw how late it was getting. He was lying on the floor (we had carpeting even in the bathroom) and waiting. He suddenly grabbed Raggedy Ann, tossed her up in the air, and yelled, “Raggedy Ann, your clock struck again! BOING!”

I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I started laughing hysterically. And because I was laughing … well, as Dad once told me, “It got the job done.”

Next thing we knew, it became a part of our nightly routine. Sometimes he would throw my blankie up in the air instead. No matter how many times he did it, I always found it absolutely hilarious. Well, except for the one time that he tossed blankie up in the air and it landed in the toilet. Don’t worry, it had been flushed. But I had a hard time sleeping that night while blankie was being thoroughly laundered.

I still remember a few years later when I was too old to have my father sit in the bathroom with me like that anymore. I was disappointed to not have our silly little routine. Sometimes for fun, he would toss a doll or something in the air in my bedroom before tucking me in, but it just wasn’t the same.

I also tried to recapture it with some of the kids I have babysat over the years. They never found it as amusing as I did. I guess it’s just one of those Daddy and Andrea things. And I’m glad I still have those memories.

Catch up on the rest of my 2019 A to Z Challenge here.

See my B posts about Dad from previous challenges:

B is for Books (2012)

#AtoZChallenge My Father, the Artist

To kick off the #AtoZChallenge tribute to my father, I have to talk about him being an artist, because that is so much a part of his legacy. I admit I don’t know much about how my father got involved in art, but I know he was quite the prolific painter. For his beautiful landscapes, he preferred to work in oils, but his abstracts were almost always done in acrylics. I’m going to share photos of some of his work with you today. I apologize for some of the bad shots, but it’s hard to really capture them the right way.

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