Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Merry Little Christmas


See end of post for giveaway information

Title: A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
Author: Anita Higman
Publisher: Summerside Press
October 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60936-688-9
Genre: Christmas/historical

Franny Martin is thirty-three years old. She lives on an Oklahoma farm, alone, since her parents died and has had the farm up for sale for twelve years with no nibbles. Then Charlie Landau shows up prepared to pay cash, and even more than she’s asking, to take the farm off her hands. Not only that, but he hires her to teach him how to farm since he doesn’t have a clue.

Franny stays to teach Charlie for three weeks, and after Thanksgiving she leaves to head for the city to pursue her dreams. But the city isn’t all she dreamed of and she regrets selling the farm. But will she give up on her dream and run home after only a day in the city—and does she even have a home to go to any more?

A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS is a Christmas book set in the early 1960’s on an Oklahoma farm. It mentions a lot of Christmas music played by Sinatra in that era. The story is slow moving, making it easy to put down, but it is a quiet, gentle read if that is what is needed. The cover is absolutely gorgeous.

If you are looking for a quiet, slow paced story about an Oklahoma Christmas and a girl struggling to find her place in the world—then this book is for you. There is some sadness and disgust about how certain nationalities were treated back then, but that is true to the time period. $14.99 hardcover. 254 pages.   
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/eyLJH   
Meet Anita:Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find out more about Anita at http://www.anitahigman.com.






Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Author Anita Higman invites readers to kick off the season with a spirited holiday tale

Often times the mere mention of Christmas stirs cherished memories and makes us nostalgic for years gone by and the ones we love. Maybe you even begin to hum your favorite Christmas tune. Author Anita Higman harnesses that sentimentality and affection for the holiday season in her latest release, A Merry Little Christmas
(Summerside Press/October 2012/hardcover/ISBN 978-1-60936-688-9/$14.99).

Higman invites readers to fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds. Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who’s preparing to spend the holidays alone... again. She has spent all of her adult life keeping the family farm going after her parents’ death, and she struggles to make ends meet. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited. Her love for music drives her dream to sell the farm and move to the city to find work in the radio business.

Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny’s farm. Charlie has been trying to prove himself and meet the expectations of his wealthy father after falling short on one business venture after another. He is determined to make his latest endeavor work — running a farm—that is, after taking a few lessons from Franny.

Even though Franny and Charlie come from very different backgrounds, they quickly find a common bond. In the back of her mind, Franny fears the bigger life that lies beyond her small world. At the same, Charlie is afraid of letting his father down yet again. Both must face their fear of failure and come to the realization that life on the other side isn’t always as it appears.

Drawing on her own experience of growing up in Oklahoma, Higman brings the Martin farm to vivid life. Yet, that’s not the only part of her childhood that she brings to the story. “Even though A Merry Little Christmas is really a love story, I felt it needed some additional conflict, and some of the racial struggles of the 60s seemed to be the right choice for this particular plot,” says Higman. “I grew up in the 60s, and I was always interested in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. In some ways I feel I’ve waited my whole life to write this book. It came easily to me in that it’s been percolating in my imagination for a long time, but it was also hard to write because I had to consider more deeply the injustices of that era. Even though it sounds like a cliché, A Merry Little Christmas truly was the book of my heart.”

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart —that sometimes love comes when you’re least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?

A Merry Little Christmas is the first release in Summerside’s Songs of the Season™ line. Each year, readers will get into the spirit of Christmas with a seasonal romance novel bearing the title of a popular Christmas song. Each giftable hardcover book will combine romance and holiday charm in a nostalgic era.

For more information on Anita Higman and her books, visit www.anitahigman.com.

About the Author

Anita Higman is a CBA bestselling and award-winning author. She has written or co-authored 30 books including fiction and non-fiction for adults and children as well as plays. And she isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Higman has six books coming out in the next two years.

Even though she’s written in many genres, Higman does have her favorite. “I love inspirational romance. There’s just nothing else like it for writing and reading. It naturally makes you want to curl up on an overstuffed couch and read the day away.”

There’s something about writing Christmas stories for Higman. Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe (co-written with Irene Brand) made two bestsellers lists for Christian fiction. Her novella in the compilation, Once Upon a Christmas Eve, was given a four-star review in Romantic Times Book Reviews. Her latest release, A Merry Little Christmas, is sure to be a favorite of shoppers and readers this holiday season.

Higman has won two awards for her contributions to literacy and has raised thousands of dollars with her book, I Can Be Anything, while serving on the board of directors of Literacy Advance of Houston.

In addition to writing books, Higman has written for radio, e-zines and advertising. She also cohosts a monthly blog talk radio show at www.InFaithNetwork.com which is a part of Reader’s Entertainment Radio. She has a BA degree combining speech communication, psychology and art from Southern Nazarene University and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and The Writer’s View.

She loves good movies, exotic teas and brunch with her friends. Higman and her husband live in Houston, TX.

Readers can keep up with Anita Higman by visiting www.anitahigman.com, becoming a fan on Facebook or following on Twitter.

                                                                                ***


An interview with Anita Higman,
Author of A Merry Little Christmas

Often times the mere mention of Christmas stirs cherished memories and makes us nostalgic for years gone by and the ones we love. Maybe you even begin to hum your favorite Christmas tune. Author Anita Higman harnesses that sentimentality and affection for the holiday season in her latest release, A Merry Little Christmas
(Summerside Press/October 2012/hardcover/ISBN 978-1-60936-688-9/$14.99).

Q: What inspired you to incorporate Jim Crow laws and segregation into your book?

Even though A Merry Little Christmas is really a love story, I felt it needed some additional conflict, and some of the racial struggles of the 60s seemed to be the right choice for this particular plot. I grew up in the 60s, and I was always interested in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. In some ways I feel I’ve waited my whole life to write this book. It came easily to me in that it’s been percolating in my imagination for a long time, but it was also hard to write because I had to consider more deeply the injustices of that era. Even though it sounds like a cliché, A Merry Little Christmas truly was the book of my heart.

Q: The farm scenes seem pretty realistic. Did you grow up in the country?

I did. While the small towns in the book are totally fictitious, I did grow up on a wheat, cattle, pig and chicken farm in Western Oklahoma, and it was pretty much identical to the one in the novel. If the farm scenes seem realistic, it’s because I got to know farm life quite well before I moved off to college at 18.

Q: Franny and Charlie come from very different backgrounds but are both looking for something very different from the way they've grown up. Do you think, as humans, we all just have a "grass is always greener on the other side" mentality?

Yes, that is a human frailty that is easy to succumb to, and I’ve been guilty of it as well. But God is good about reminding me that he’s placed me on my own unique life-road, and it may have little to do with anyone else’s journey. Besides, in many cases when we get a closer look at someone else’s “lush green grass,” it usually turns out to be turf.

Q: Do you think that sometimes we don't pray for what we want because we are afraid of getting what we pray for?

Perhaps that’s true, which would explain why Franny is equally nervous and excited about the sudden answer to her prayers.

Q: Was there a reason you added the themes of Christmas and music to your latest story?

My editor asked me to add those elements, and it was a blessing, since Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love music. Also, female readers in general love novels that are set during the holidays, and I’m hoping the music adds a cozy feel to the overall Christmas theme.

Q: What is your favorite Christmas song?

“The Holly and the Ivy.” The song has a melancholy feel to it, but it’s also beautifully sweet. I love the “Currier and Ives” style pictures my imagination conjures up when I’m listening to it.

Q: Does the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" have a special significance to you?

The song makes me swoon it’s so romantic and lovely. It makes me think of being snowed-in with the man I love. Of course, that scene also needs a mountain cabin with a crackling fire and two mugs of wassail.

Q: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

I love to have my gal friends over for brunch around Christmastime. I have been collecting tea dishes for many years, so when I do a brunch, I go all out. Women are usually in a service mode most of their lives, so when they come to my house I want them to feel wonderfully pampered. And by the time they leave, I hope their hearts are a little merrier and they feel we’ve celebrated Christmas well!

Q: Is Franny's character based on any "real-life" person?

Franny is like me in some ways, but she has a lot more courage than I have and more laughter in her heart. So, really, I want to be Franny when I grow up.

Q: You have written everything from romance to suspense/thrillers to nonfiction. What is your favorite genre to write?

I love inspirational romance. There’s just nothing else like it for writing and reading. It naturally makes you want to curl up on an overstuffed couch and read the day away.

Readers can keep up with Anita Higman by visiting www.anitahigman.combecoming a fan on Facebook or following on Twitter.


Anita is spreading the Christmas cheer by giving away FIFTEEN COPIES of her new book A Merry Little Christmas

To enter to win, just head over to THE CONTEST PAGE at Anita’s website and fill out the short form. Be sure to put BLOG CONTEST in the Subject Line. That’s it.
Winners will be announced on the Litfuse blog (and notified by email) on 11/9.

HERE IS THE CODE:
Author Anita Higman invites readers to kick off the season with a spirited holiday tale.

Anita is spreading the Christmas cheer by giving away FIFTEEN COPIES of the book.

To enter to win A Merry Little Christmas, just head over to THE CONTEST PAGE at Anita's website and fill out the short form. Be sure to put BLOG CONTEST in the Subject Line. That's it.

Winners will be announced on the Litfuse blog (and notified by email) on 11/9.





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