Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Homecoming - interview

Authors: Debby Mayne, Paige Winship Dooly, Elizabeth Goddard, & Elizabeth Ludwig
Publisher: Barbour Books
September 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60260-564-0
Genre: Inspirational/Christmas/contemporary

A Grandmother’s letters bring three women home for Christmas…

Silver Bells by Debby Mayne—Carol Scheirer’s children have all grown and moved away, and since her husband, Paul, died, Carol is loneliest at Christmas. Paul’s best friend, Alex Knight, promised Paul he’d look after Carol, but he never counted on falling in love with her. But how can he convince Carol to take a second chance on love—with him?

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Elizabeth Ludwig—Christmas Scheirer has always wanted to be a writer, but she struggles with guilt, believing that her greed caused her grandfather’s death. When Christmas returns home to Boulder for her grandmother’s wedding, she discovers a slew of her grandfather’s letters. Determined to get these letters published, Christmas finds herself up against Marcus Taggert, the guardian of her grandfather’s estate. What will it take for Christmas to make things right?

O Christmas Tree by Elizabeth Goddard—Holly Rivers is a missionary, who nursed a broken heart when she headed to South Africa, leaving Nick Brohns behind. But when Holly returns home for her grandmother’s wedding, she and Nick meet again. Will Holly and Nick be able to patch their past relationship and find a God has a mission for them, together?

The First Noelle by Paige Winship Dooly—Noelle Evans was left stranded at the altar years ago, so returning home for her grandmother’s wedding is bitter-sweet. But on her way into Boulder, Noelle is involved in an accident and finds herself being cared for by Rocky Carmichael, M.D.—her former fiancĂ©. How can Noelle possibly learn to trust the man who once jilted her?

CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING is a collection of four novellas with one common theme, the grandmother’s wedding. Part of the Romancing America series published by Barbour, CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING showcases Colorado.

I found it amusing that each of the characters had Christmassy names—it really seemed to fit the theme of the book. I enjoyed getting to know Carol, her granddaughters, and each of their romantic interests. CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING is a sweet story collection to read during the holidays. $7.97. 348 pages.

Can you tell me about your book?

Christmas Homecoming released this September from Barbour Publishing. It’s the story of a family whose members have been separated—some by choice, others by chance, but all who have a yearning for home. When the matriarch of the family announces her engagement, the family comes home to face the problems they thought they’d left behind. It’s a story about redemption and forgiveness—the two things I try to focus on most during the holidays!

What are you working on now?

I recently signed a contract with Summerside Press for a book called Love Finds You in Calico, California. Several years ago, I visited Calico on a road trip my husband and I took with our family. I never dreamed then that I would set a story in what is now a tiny little ghost town and tourist attraction, but anytime I visit someplace new, I ask a lot of questions and gather a lot of materials “just in case.” It drives my husband crazy…until I tell him, “You know that place we visited last summer? Yeah, I’m setting a book there.” LOL!

What are some of your hobbies, besides writing?

I love to read. Even as a kid, I spent hours curled up with a book. My sisters never understood the fascination. One of my younger sisters (whom I affectionately call Magon Dragon—she knows what that means) used to hide my books just to get me outside to play!

I’m also a sports nut, so everyone knows…don’t bother me when the Steelers are playing. Go Pitt!

Who are your favorite authors?

I read just about anything, from YA to SciFi/Fantasy, so really, my favorite author is whoever I am reading at the time. A couple who have stood out over the years, however, are Francine Rivers and Deb Raney. Shoot, sometimes, all I have to do is read the title of their books and I’m crying.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Hmm…this is hard to answer because I’m such a fan of the written word. There are a couple of genres I’m NOT a huge fan of—stuff that doesn’t catch my eye as often—but I’ll even pick up these if the story sounds interesting enough. I guess if I had to pick one genre over any other, it would have to be historical romance. I grew up dreaming of days gone by, and when I first decided to try my hand at writing a book, it was a historical.

What sparked the idea for your last story?

Christmas Homecoming started out as the brainchild of Debby Mayne, who also spearheaded the collection. From her original idea, the other authors in the collection and I came up with a story that would tie into hers and fit the overall theme of the book.

My story is called, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and has a double meaning in that the main character is also named Christmas. Having left home to pursue a publishing career, Christmas (Chris) finds the riches of the world hold no promise for her when compared to the loss of her family. She returns home hoping to correct the mistakes of her past, only to discover that it is her past that has made her who she is. It’s a prodigal child story, set in a modern day world.

Who or what inspired you to write?

It was my love of stories that inspired me to read, but my love for God inspired me to write. For years, I would simply pick up a book and be entertained for a few hours. Later, as my faith in Christ grew, so did my hunger for material that went deeper. I wanted to be drawn closer to God, to have my faith bolstered and challenged. I figured others out there wanted the same. Hopefully, my books do that. . .but still entertain. (smile)

What is your favorite verse, and why?

I always smile when I’m asked this, because my answer puzzles people. It’s Habakkuk 2:2-3. Are you scratching your head yet? Let me clarify…

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says this: Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

At a time when I was really questioning whether or not I was called to write, God gave me these verses. I’ve clung to them ever since, and I sign all of my books with them, mainly as a reminder to myself that I’m doing what God called me to do.

How can reading your book have an impact on the reader’s life?

You know, I think there’s a reason that God described the spreading of the gospel as the planting of “seeds.” A seed is small, but it can yield a great harvest. There is always a seed in my books. Sometimes, it’s a seed of salvation. Other times, it’s seeds of forgiveness or trust. It’s my prayer that by reading my books, people are able to glean those seeds, and that they will yield a great harvest of faith and encouragement in their lives.

How did you become a Christian?

I became a Christian after I heard the gospel preached in church one Sunday morning. My sister had been begging me to go with her, and I finally listened.

I became a servant after my husband and I lost our second child. God really spoke some truth to me while we were in that valley—namely, would I be willing to follow Him no matter what the cost? I can answer that question with confidence now, and it’s a resounding YES!!

How has your book been received from its readers?

So far, the reviews have been favorable, but then again, who doesn’t like a good Christmas story, right? LOL!

What is your current ring tone?

Why, it’s Monday Night Football. Isn’t everybody’s?

What is your favorite vending machine item?

When I’m desperate enough to go to a vending machine, I’m after Fritos, and don’t nobody get in my way. LOL!

What is your biggest fear?

Can I be honest? My biggest fear used to be losing one of my children. Now I’ve been through that valley, and while I still worry about my kids, that fear has been replaced with one greater—robbing God of one bit of the glory that He deserves.

How can our readers purchase your book?

Christmas Homecoming is available wherever books are sold, or through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Also, you can order a signed copy by going to my website at Enjoy!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Hi, Laura! Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I enjoyed talking with you!