Wednesday, December 16, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Book Blitz Event - Day 6 - Christmas Kisses

We are so excited about this wonderful Anthology!

Let’s take a look at the 5 authors that put this together!

Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes romance and mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading.
Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, as well as the Rone Award-winning novella Silver Cascade Secrets. She and her family live on a farm in Idaho.
Visit to learn more about upcoming books.
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Amazon Author Page for Rachelle:
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Connie Sokol is a mother of seven, and a favorite local and national speaker for over fifteen years. She is a TV core contributor “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker” and a national blogger for She is one of seven female hosts of The Living Room, an online value-based radio show where they dish on life, loving, and learning ( Mrs. Sokol is a bestselling author who has written 14 books, including her fiction: Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology, and Caribbean Crossroads; and her nonfiction: What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, Faithful, Fit & Fabulous, Simplify & Savor the SeasonCreate a Powerful Life Plan, and 40 Days with the Savior. Mrs. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats. For her TV segments, blog, podcasts and more, visit

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Lucy McConnell has always been a reader and a writer. Once caught up in a story, she disappears into a cave until the first draft is done. She writes fantasy, clean romance, Christian romance, historical fiction, and cookbooks (under the name Christina Dymock.) Her Christmas romance, Blue Christmas, was a top seller in seven Amazon categories on its own and in thirteen as part of the Christmas in Snow Valley Anthology.
When she’s not writing, you can find her volunteering at the elementary school or church; shuttling kids to baseball, soccer, basketball, or football, depending on the time of year; skiing with her family; wakeboarding; cycling; baking; cooking; or curled up with a good book.
You can sign up for her newsletter and get the latest news here:

HEATHER TULLIS has been reading romance for as long as she can remember and has been publishing in the genre since 2009. She has published more than twenty books. When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, or helping out with her community garden, she enjoys playing with her dogs and cat, inventing new ways to eat chocolate, and hanging out with her husband. 
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Cami Checketts is an idealist who dreams of helping children around the world but can't keep up with the four in her own home. Cami lives in a beautiful valley in Northern Utah where she enjoys running, biking, and swimming during the two months of the year it isn't snowing. A portion of the proceeds from Cami's books will be donated to The Child & Family Support Center. For more information on this worthy cause, please go to

"Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors. Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols."

Pick up your copy today!

Let’s get a sneak peek into one of these great stories!

Heather’s Random facts:
-I like to bake and make up recipes.
-I am an EMT-A and worked on a volunteer ambulance service for five years.
-At one time, I owned over 150 chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, and other assorted fowl.
-All four of my current pets are named after sweet foods. 
-I once laid 1800 square foot of tile flooring in a building we owned.

Snippet from One Winter Night:
Jonah stared at the invoice and wondered where he was going to come up with the money. Was there any prayer that he would make enough in the opening two weeks of the gallery to actually pay the incoming bills? Never mind the artists’ commission on top of the expenses. His friends were putting a lot of trust in him and he didn't want to let them, or himself, down. He didn't know how to do anything but draw and paint—or at least that's what he'd believed. When he lost that, he'd realized he had learned a few things at his college job, and there was this option.
If he hadn't made so many contacts and so many friends, the gallery wouldn't have been an option. Only now he had to make good on his promises, and with a little over a week until the gallery opened, he wasn't sure that was possible. If sheer desire could make it happen, he would have no need to worry, but that wasn't enough, and the prep on the building still wasn't done. He just hoped the advertising and word of mouth he'd been working on would bring people in—no matter what condition the building was in on opening day.
He filed the invoice to deal with after he'd made a deposit or two then walked back out to the showroom. The work to restore the space had finished only a week earlier, and he'd been busy framing pictures and uncrating items since. It was going slower than he had expected. Then again, maybe that had something to do with Sam—his nineteen-year-old employee, who apparently seemed to think the start time for work was flexible.
Jonah sighed and checked his watch again. He only trusted the kid to work for a couple more days, and then he'd have to let him go. Sam wasn't a terrible employee, but he wasn't exactly stellar, either, and he wasn't someone Jonah trusted to handle some of the more valuable pieces—especially after some of the less graceful moves the kid had made: knocking over displays, dropping one canvas, and breaking one side support, making Jonah re-stretch it. Jonah got back to work on a frame for one of his own paintings, one he'd done a couple of years earlier. It had been far too long since he'd put paint to canvas. Or maybe it had just been too long since he'd been able to do anything that wasn't plain mediocre. He ached for the way painting used to make him feel.
He looked at the painting of a mother and child playing in the park and remembered the way he'd planned the longer sweeping strokes, the care he'd used to select the perfect shades of color and the way instinct, coupled with years of practice had guided his hand. This piece had gotten attention at the previous gallery where it had been placed, but it was one of three pieces that hadn't sold during the consignment period, and when Jonah had been unable to produce anything else, the gallery owner had offered to let him take them back. Now he wasn't sure if it was more painful to see it as a reminder of what he'd lost, or more hopeful as a reminder that he might, someday, have it again.
He was almost loathe to sell the three final paintings, though he desperately needed the money.
Like painting, framing was both art and science, and took his concentrated effort. Thankfully, it didn't seem to need as much of the muse as painting had, though he could become just as engrossed. Another thirty minutes passed before Jonah thought about Sam again, then, irritated, he picked up his phone to call the kid.
Sam answered the phone, his words tripping over themselves. “Oh, Jonah, I'm so sorry. I should have called, I just wasn't thinking.”
“You weren't thinking that you were nearly an hour late for work?” Jonah knew he wasn't succeeding very well at keeping the irritation from his voice.
“I was in an accident on the way there.” His voice held a slightly shaky quality. “I didn't think to call you. I'm so sorry. It's been crazy.”
Jonah set down the stack of matting samples, focusing closer on the conversation. “What happened, are you okay?”
“I broke my leg. The x-rays just came back. The doc says it's going to be a couple of weeks before I'm up and around. Even then I'll probably have crutches. I still have to get my cast. I'm sorry I won't be able to help you out any more.”
Jonah felt bad for his earlier irritation. “Oh, man, that's terrible. Do you have someone there for you?” Not that he could afford to lose even a little more work time if Sam was already out of the picture, but no one deserved to sit at the hospital by themselves.
“My sister is coming from Albany to pick me up. I'll visit her for a while. My car is totaled. Not sure how I'll get around. Idiot driver hit me at the intersection.”
“Don't worry about work. I'm sorry this happened to you. Take care of yourself.” Jonah wished him well and ended the call. He did feel bad for Sam, but dang it, he didn't know what he was going to do without the help. Sam was only hired on a temporary basis, but Jonah went from somewhat overwhelmed to super stressed in a heartbeat. “Eighteen-hour days, here I come.”
He remembered his grandma was expecting a visit in a little while and decided to put it off today. She would understand if he had to change his visiting schedule to every-other day until the gallery was up and running. The thought made him feel bad, but he didn't have much choice at this point. He picked up the phone to call her.
And a fun Q&A with the author!
1 What is your favorite part of writing? I love the discovery of the first draft. Even though I generally have an idea of what’s going to happen, there are always surprises as you go along and you never know exactly how it’s going to turn out until you put your fingers on the keyboard and start typing.

2.      Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Having a message is a funny thing, even when I try to embed a subtle one in fiction, half the readers get something totally different, and there could be a dozen different takes on what a story means, depending on what they need or are looking for at any given time. Most of the time I don’t worry about a specific message when I’m writing, but if I’m writing good characters with real troubles, something will work its way into the story tapestry even if I didn’t plan for it to be there.

3.      Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have lots of friends who wanted to be writers from the time they were able to pick up a pencil. I loved books from the crib, and almost always had a story going on in my head, even if I wasn’t reading something at the time, but I had zero aspirations of being a writer until I was a senior in high school—and that was short lived. I actually graduated from college with an English lit degree (why would I waste my time with creative writing classes. Poo-poo) and three months later one of the stories in my head refused to go away, so I started jotting it down. I didn’t even own a computer at the time, but once I started putting pen to paper, I was hooked.

4.      Give us an insight into how your writing day/time is structured? Right now I have an early morning class most days and then come home, take care of homework (take a nap because my class is way too early) and in the afternoon I write for a few hours. I try not to get caught up in email and social media during this time, but it’s not always easy. Then in late afternoon, early evening, I try to get any writing-related and housekeeping issues taken care of. I’m lucky to have a great husband who helps with things around the house.

5.      Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? That having people counting on me can be a great motivator! No, really, I pick up little things along the journey with every book. I think being in someone else’s head teaches us a little more compassion, hopefully gives us a little broader world view. Plus, I got to learn a few things about watercolor painting, which was kind of fun.

6.      What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it? Procrastination when I’m feeling a little stuck, or when I just plain don’t want to work on edits (edits are the bane of my existence.) Having a firm deadline really helps—so much! I can let myself procrastinate for a day or two if I’m about to dive into edits, but if I let it go too long, then it just gets easier and easier to keep procrastination. The best way to handle it is just to confront it head on. If I sit my butt in the  chair and get to work, it’s usually far less traumatic and awful then I think it’s going to be, and when I finish a solid edit, I love the book so much more.

Follow along on the Facebook event page to get an inside look at all the stories in this Anthology. 

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