Grace Awards

Expanding the Tent Pegs of Christian Fiction

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Romance, Suspense, Women’s Fic, These Authors Can Write It All ~ Here They Share Christmas Thoughts

 Twenty-two talented authors are participating in the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour, sponsored by the Grace Awards. These writers have a great love for Christmas and would like to share with the public their thoughts about what inspires them and their Christmas memories.

Xmas, Bow Border

 

MEG MOSELEY (WHEN SPARROWS FALL, romance, women’s fiction, new beginnings)

Grace Awards: What is your favorite Christmas carol and why? Do you have a favorite performing artist who sings that song?

Meg: Since I was a little girl, I have loved “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” It’s really an Advent hymn, not a Christmas carol.  The song probably originated as a responsive chant in the Catholic Church many centuries ago, so generations of Christians all over the world have sung it.  I think it’s especially moving when it’s sung by a good choir, a capella. The hymn reminds me that there’s another side to the joy of Christmas: From depths of Hell, Thy people save, and give them victory o’er the grave… Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. All is not right with the world, and it won’t be set right until Jesus returns.  As Christmas comes and goes each year, we’re still in the larger Advent season, anticipating His return. “God with us” is the cry of our hearts.

Grace Awards: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? What about that movie thrills you…makes you tear up?

Grace: When you interviewed Elaine Marie Cooper earlier, I loved her answer to this question because mine is the same. “While You Were Sleeping” is a modern classic and my all-time favorite.  It’s just a goofy romantic comedy, but it’s all about grace, forgiveness, and love—not just romantic love, but also the love of a family that embraces a lonely stranger. But of course they would, when they mistakenly believe she’s engaged to one of their sons!  Lucy (Sandra Bullock) fails to correct the misunderstanding, and she’s finally trapped in lies with no way out. One of the scenes that tugs at my heart is on Christmas morning when Lucy wistfully watches the Gallagher family as they open their gifts.  The gift she longs for is to be truly part of the family instead of pretending to be. There are also many funny and romantic moments as she falls for cynical, adorable Jack (Bill Pullman) who’s supposedly her future brother-in-law.  Their interactions are hilarious.

 

Although Meg Moseley lives near Atlanta, she’s still a California girl at heart.  Wife, mom, grandma, and novelist, she loves cats, motorcycles, easy gardening, and all kinds of good fiction. She’s published with Multnomah Books. www.megmoseley.com

Link to Meg’s showcase on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. Check out her inspiring romance novel. http://is.gd/DHepUh

TRACY KRAUSS  (WIND OVER MARSHDALE, PLAY IT AGAIN, MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, humor)

Grace Awards:  What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Tracy:  I was thinking about all the ‘spiritual’ answers I should give for this question, but in all honesty, our favorite tradition is playing games during the holidays. All four of my children are quite competitive (okay, they are ridiculously competitive – just like their father, of course) and can’t wait to beat one another at canasta, cribbage, or one of the many board games that come out during the holidays. Now that my two eldest are married, their spouses have had to ‘get tough or die’. There is no mercy, even for love! I must admit, my husband and children have more stamina for this than I do. I often end up taking the side of my sons-in-law and we go off to watch a movie while the other five fight it out.

Grace Awards:  What foods do you prepare for the holidays?

Tracy:  We go for the traditional turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings. I insist on turnips as well since this is what my mother always made, even though I am often the only one eating them. We like pumpkin pie for Christmas, although I’ve started cheating and I usually buy a ready-made crust. I do not like cooking or baking, so last year I decided not to bake anything. No cookies, no squares… nothing. I always end up with a ton of it in the freezer which then sits for months until I pawn it off on somebody. (Or end up eating it all myself, which I do not need.) Anyway, my announcement was met with shock and disbelief when my daughters arrived for the holidays. In fact, I had a downright rebellion on my hands. They got busy and made pies, cookies and squares… Guess what? For Thanksgiving this year everyone loved the pie. When I told them it was left over from last Christmas they were shocked. I don’t know why. It was perfectly good and wasn’t even freezer burnt. I just won’t tell them that this year’s Christmas cookies are left over from last year, too.

Tracy is a high school teacher by profession, and aprolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English – all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. She has several romantic suspense novels and stage plays in print. http://www.tracykrauss.com

Tracy’s link to her showcase on the Grace Filled Blog Tour. Check out her zany romantic suspense novels. http://is.gd/YgNgy5

There will be more author interviews to follow. The authors on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour want to share their Christmas hopes, dreams, memories, decorating trips, perhaps even a recipe or two. Stay turned as these terrific and very interesting authors share about what Christmas means to them.

Link to access the Calendar of the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour: https://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/grace-filled-christmas-blog-tour-2012/

Two Authors With a Love of Wilderness Settings Talk About Christmas

Winter, snowy pine trees

Twenty-two talented authors are participating in the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour, sponsored by the Grace Awards. Get to know these writers and their great love for Christmas as they share with the public their thoughts about what inspires them and their Christmas memories.Xmas, Bow Border

NAOMI MUSCH (THE BLACK ROSE, THE RED FURY, THE GREEN VEIL, romance series set in the forests of Wisconsin as the good guys struggle to survive in the rough and tumble logging industry).

Grace Awards:  Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? What about that movie thrills you…makes you tear up?

Naomi:  My husband and I first watched It’s a Wonderful Life about 27 years ago when we were expecting our second of five children. We loved the movie so much — the warmth, the spiritual depth, the “every man” connection — we began a tradition of watching it with our kids every year after we put up the tree. We love to break out the eggnog and homemade cocoa fudge and quote lines as fast as the actors. So that movie is our favorite. We have an old “Granville” fixer-upper like George and Mary. I understand George’s frustration with his “drafty ol’ house”. During rough spots in life, the kind that hit everybody now and then or find us stuck where we are, I jokingly say that we’re still fighting the battle of Bedford Falls. In the past few years, we’ve sometimes broken up the tradition with another Jimmy Stewart classic, The Shop Around the Corner, or another favorite, The Muppet Christmas Carol. We watch other Christmas movies during the holidays, but you can’t beat those three.

Grace Awards:  Are you a Christmas fanatic, a real crazy? Or is your approach to the holidays more down to earth and relaxed?

Naomi:  One thing you’ll likely never find me doing is shopping on Black Friday. No, no, no. I gear up rather slowly for the holidays, and usually start finally getting in the spirit about a week before Thanksgiving or Christmas. I’m one of those folks who if I put any lights outdoors, will be trudging through a foot of snow to do so. Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays. The family, food, and fun — all of it. But I have a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of holiday enthusiasm in our modern world. I’m pretty old fashioned, all the way around. I like singing carols at our church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service. I like eggnog and fudge while decorating the tree, and I love just lying around gazing at the twinkling lights after all the gifts are unwrapped and the kids have gone to their homes ( and maybe getting catching a midnight smootch with my honey under the mistletoe). Finally, I like snowstorms that keep us close to home between Christmas and New Years.

Naomi and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows on a ramshackle farm in Wisconsin’s north woods near their five young adults and three grand-children. Amidst it, she writes stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles. Her entire Empire in Pine series, available now in eBook from Desert Breeze Publishing, will also go to print in 2013. She invites new friends and old to say hello and join her for updates on Facebook at Naomi Musch – Author

Link to Naomi’s showcase on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. Check out her exciting romance novels. http://is.gd/iAk9B1

ELAINE MARIE COOPER (THE ROAD TO DEER RUN, THE PROMISE OF DEER RUN, THE LEGACY OF DEER RUN, touching romance series set in colonial Massachusetts at the birth of America).

Grace Awards: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?

Elaine:  Well I have SO many well-loved Christmas movies but the wear and tear on my DVD’s will tell you the truth: “While You Were Sleeping” is definitely one of my favorites! I still howl with laughter over the hilarious neighbor, Joe Jr with the plumber’s crack; snicker over the narcissism of the coma-man, Peter; and see the craziness of my own family with the interactions of Peter’s family both in the hospital and at church. Sandra Bullock is perfect in her role as the lonely subway worker whose only living family member is her cat. I love that Sandra is not afraid to look frumpy when appropriate but of course, she is so beautiful! She makes me tear up when she’s talking to the man in the coma, trying to explain her life and how alone she is. And of course when she gets engaged at the end is romance at its finest. LOVE this movie! Other favorite Christmas movies: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol” with George C. Scott, and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with Henry Winkler and Warren Christie.

Grace Awards: Have you ever had to handle a significant loss during the holidays? How did you cope?

Elaine:  In late October of 2003, my only daughter Bethany, who was 24-years-old at the time, passed away from a brain tumor. Her birthday was also in December so that month was horrible to say the least. In the midst of our numbed and grief-stricken state, my husband and I decided that her life still needed significance. We came up with two family traditions that we still keep to this day. On December 12, her birthday, I deliver a gift bag with a gift card to a local maternity unit. I find one of the nurses and ask her to deliver the gift to the first baby girl born on that day. I don’t sign my name or say who I am but I explain why I am there. I always pray ahead of time that the recipient will be someone in need. The second tradition we keep is every Christmas Eve we deliver huge sacks overflowing with stuffed animals. We deliver them to the adult cancer unit where our daughter was a patient. Bethany always held a favorite stuffed animal when she was feeling sick and we realized that adults need the comfort as well. We ask the staff to deliver a “Bethany Blessing” to each patient and we pray that her legacy of caring for others can continue through this simple act.

Elaine is a writer of historical fiction (THE ROAD TO DEER RUN, THE PROMISE OF DEER RUN, THE LEGACY OF DEER RUN) as well as devotions and freelance stories for magazines. You can read one of her devotions in Edie Melson’s FIGHTING FEAR, WINNING THE WAR AT HOME. Look for Elaine’s upcoming romance story, “The Tea Set,” in the Christmas anthology I CHOOSE YOU, releasing December 2012 through Oak Tara Publishers. http://deerrunbooks.com/

Link to Elaine’s showcase on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. Check out her heart warming romance novels. http://is.gd/4d6Qpf

There will be more author interviews to follow. The authors on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour want to share their Christmas hopes, dreams, memories, decorating trips, perhaps even a recipe or two. Stay turned as these terrific and very interesting authors share about what Christmas means to them.

Link to access the Calendar of the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour: https://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/grace-filled-christmas-blog-tour-2012/

Interviews with Two Authors on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour

 Twenty-two talented authors are participating in the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour, sponsored by the Grace Awards. These writers have a great love for Christmas and would like to share with the public their thoughts about what inspires them and their Christmas memories.

NIKE CHILLEMI (BURNING HEARTS, GOODBYE NOEL, PERILOUS SHADOWS, classic historical murder mystery series with romance and action)

Grace Awards:  Tell us about your fondest Christmas memory?

Nike:  I missed my paternal grandmother terribly when I was a little girl when she moved across the country. Coupled with that I wished I could have a fancy party dress, which we could not afford. We spent Christmas at my maternal grandmother’s house. My mother, father, and all my aunts and uncles shooed me off to bed. By the excitement in their eyes, I knew something was up. When I got up on Christmas morning there was a huge box wrapped in plain paper with postage marking on it and it was for me. When I opened the box, there were two velvet dresses with lace collars and cuffs inside in my size. One in Christmas red and one in Christmas green. My grandmother and aunt who lived across the country had sewn them for me. I still tear up thinking about it.

Grace Awards:   Are your Christmas decorations traditional, or do they have a more modern flare? Do you have a particular theme to your decorating? Or does each and every ornament and decoration have a personal meaning to you?

Nike:  I subscribe to the belief that more is more in Christmas decorations. Every inch of my Christmas tree is covered and I have decorations in every room of the house including bathrooms. The overall theme is traditional and my colors are strictly red, green, white, and gold. I have two ornaments from my maternal grandmother’s tree that date to the 1940s. I have ornaments from my parents’ tree from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. My mother collected bird ornaments and I have several of those. Over the 26 years I’ve been married a new tradition has emerged. Anytime we go away or on a vacation we try to find a Christmas ornament to bring home in the hues that go with our traditional Christmas color scheme. We’re animal lovers and have been pet rescuers. We also pick up ornaments that resemble our pets. As you can tell, our house is stuffed to the rafters with decorations.

Like so many other writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (penciled might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. BURNING HEARTS is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, published by Desert Breeze. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series released in December, 2011 won the Grace Award 2011 in the Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category. PERILOUS SHADOWS, the third in the series released in July, 2012. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/

Link to Nike’s showcase on the Grace Filled Blog Tour. Check out classic whodunits for Christmas. http://is.gd/NgwOzs

SHAUNNA GONZOLES (DARK DAYS OF PROMISE, romance, women’s fiction, self-discovery, loss, healing, redemption)

Grace Awards:  What is your favorite Christmas carol and why? Do you have a favorite performing artist who sings that song?

Shaunna: I have two that are a tie, Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus and Oh Holy Night. Performing artist? Well, I don’t think most have heard of the high school I attended but I still remember, with chills running up and down my spine the Christmas that we (a choir of 200+) performed the Halleluiah Chorus, from memory–even our pianist! Yeah we got a standing ovation for that. And Oh Holy Night? That was a solo performance for me as a special request at a church function. I was dressed in my best, white slacks and glittery holiday blouse. I didn’t realize the impact on the gathering until later when someone told me how much the video recording they had made that night meant to them as a family. Special reminiscing for me, especially since I haven’t done much singing through the holidays for years now.

Grace Awards:  Have you ever had to handle a significant loss during the holidays? How did you cope?

Shaunna:  I was nine years-old when my father died early in December. I didn’t cry then, I like to think it was because of my childlike faith rather than shock or any of the stages of mourning. Now I experience the twinge of tears burn behind my eyes as well as that tight thirst at the back of my throat (I reach for my constant bottle of water to wash it away.) We had little time to grieve as a family. My sister was getting married a week later. Wow, photographs don’t lie, the smiles were strained, even the bride’s. How to cope…probably not as well as one should. Even just one day at a time. I think for some years I was numb. But Christmas took on a very different meaning for me. I don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of shopping or the crowds. Christmas for me, is a time of reflection. Reflection on the year coming to its close, reflection on the distant past, reflection on my connection with Jesus Christ, His birth, His example, His life, and His sacrifice for me personally.

Shaunna Gonzales has toyed with writing since her teenage years but has only written in earnest since 2005. In an effort to give Dark Days of Promise an authentic feel she endeavored to include some experiences of veterans she knows and could often be found discussing the realities of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in their lives and how it could honestly be shared in this project. On the evening of this books first promotion, she realized that the scope of PTSD reaches deep into the core of our society and includes infants, children, housewives, the working and unemployed as well as veterans; in short, all of us. In an effort to treat this subject fairly, Ms. Gonzales has altered her writing course from “romance with a twist” to helping our society, sufferers and innocents alike to becoming aware. It is more than those who experience the violence, more than the victims who experience this debilitating disease that are affected. It is their families, the bystander of violent crime and all of us who dare to care for and love them. Shaunna currently resides in the Seattle, Washington area, with her husband, and their younger children. http://shaunnagonzales.blogspot.com/

Link to Shaunna’s showcase on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. http://is.gd/ltDqwx

There will be more author interviews to follow. The authors on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour want to share their Christmas hopes, dreams, memories, decorating trips, perhaps even a recipe or two. Stay turned as these terrific and very interesting authors share about what Christmas means to them.

Link to access the Calendar of the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour: https://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/grace-filled-christmas-blog-tour-2012/

The Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour Is Here!!!

The Grace Awards is thrilled to announce the first annual Grace Filled Blog Tour!!! Twenty-two talented Christian authors share about their novels and why these wonderful stories would make excellent Christmas holiday reading…and into the New Year.

Join us on this tour as we explore the depths of Christian fiction writing. Why not visit every author on the tour to select your personal Christmas reading and to select reading gifts for your loved ones.

Below is the link for the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour:

https://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/grace-filled-christmas-blog-tour-2012/

From the Grace Awards To Your House ~~ Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!!!

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