12 Days Patricia Bradley

The Year Santa Brought a Doll

When I was a kid, every year about the middle of October, a wonderful item arrived in our mailbox—the Sears and Roebuck Toy Catalog. The first day my parents made my sister and me draw straws to see who got to look through it first.

I think my sister had an inside track since she almost always got the short straw and if she didn’t, because I was the older sister, I was just supposed to let her go first anyway. I never knew who made up that rule.

Some years I offered to do her chores if she’d let me look through it first. Any year she drew the short straw I offered to trade. She’s the one who sometimes agreed to our deal. But oh, was it worth it.

Do you know how many pages of cap pistols there were in the catalog? I still remember—there were eight. Eight wonderful pages of Roy Roger or Gene Autry toy cap pistols that I could image strapped to my side. I read every word of every page and dreamed of riding my stick horse, ready to catch the bad guys with my toy guns. I may have spent a few hours dreaming of practicing my fast draw, as well. It didn’t matter that I was eight years old and getting too big to ride an imaginary horse.

Of course, this was during an innocent age where toy pistols were just that—toys. The age of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger…the time of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. I think it was a much simpler time, but I digress.

My sister, on the other hand, went straight for the dolls and dollhouses. And tea sets. Girly things. She wasn’t the tomboy I was. And somehow my mother got it in her head that I was missing out on something. I was eight years old and had never asked for nor received a doll for Christmas.

This particular year she pointed to a dainty, red-haired little doll in a cute little dress. “Wouldn’t you like a doll, like this one?”

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“Sure, but did you see the Roy Rogers cap guns with the leather holster?” I could already feel them strapped around my waist.

One set came with an extra—a shiny tin badge. That’s the set I fixated on. We were always play acting and this time I could be the sheriff, and my sister and the other kids in the neighborhood could be the bank robbers. It would be so much fun to track them down and bring them to justice.

I marked every day off the calendar with a red crayon. Christmas Eve I barely slept, and at 4:30 Christmas morning, I woke my sister, knowing we wouldn’t get in trouble if the favored child was the one who woke our parents up at that time of the morning.

Minutes later we crept down the hall. “What if Santa hasn’t come?” she asked.

“He’s been here,” I assured her. I’d already been up an hour earlier and peeped in the living room and had seen my sister’s tricycle. Our parents must have heard us because they met us before we made it to the living room.

“What are you two doing up so early?” Our dad asked with a wink. “Never mind, go see what Santa brought you.”

We tore into the room, and I frantically searched for the flat box I knew my cap guns would be in. No flat box. But there was a rather large rectangular box with my name on it. Maybe Santa brought me a double set! Or maybe there was a pair of cowboy boots in the box! I tore into it and…lifted out the doll with curly red hair.

“Do you like it?” Mama asked.

I looked up into her face, and even at eight years old I knew I couldn’t say anything other than I loved it. Somehow I managed to make my mama think it was what I’d always wanted. And maybe that’s why later that afternoon, God blessed me with another present from my godparents.

Yep, a deluxe set of Roy Rogers cap pistols with real leather holsters. By the way, those toy pistols—they are probably responsible for me becoming a romantic suspense/mystery writer. But that’s a story for another time.

More about Justice Buried:

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 7.23.58 PMIn an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league—and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep readers guessing—and looking over their shoulders.

Purchase a copy of Justice Buried:
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Bradley_Patricia5Winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy, and loves to write suspense with a twist of romance. Her Logan Point and Memphis Cold Case Novels are available at all on-line retailers and major bookstores. JUSTICE BURIED, the second book in the Memphis Cold Case Novels released September 5, 2017.

Be sure to connect with Patricia every Tuesday on her blog where she poses a Mystery Question for you to solve!

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