Grace Awards

Expanding the Tent Pegs of Christian Fiction

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/

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14 thoughts on “Two Authors With a Love of Wilderness Settings Talk About Christmas

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your Christmas traditions with us. Naomi, I love how you cut through the extraneous to enjoy the love of Christmas. Elaine, I thank God for helping you to find a blessing in your sorrow and sharing it with others.

  2. Naomi, I’m another one who refuses to shop on Black Friday. But count me in for some eggnog and fudge. Always.

    Elaine, WYWS is my all-time favorite Christmas movie. I love the “leaning” lines and Joe Jr. (“I know karate!”) and the crazy dining room conversation (“These mashed potatoes are so creamy!”) …and on and on. On a serious note, what you wrote about your daughter brought me to tears. The ways you have chosen to honor her memory are wonderful.

    • Meg, “these mashed potatoes are so creamy!” LOL Yes, one of my favorite lines too. 😉 And like, Naomi, I am not a Black Friday shopper either. I think my husband and I will go to a movie. 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words about my daughter; these traditions help us to honor her memory by giving to others. She was a giving spirit when here on earth.

  3. I’m enjoying these interviews. They really touch the heart of each person and I feel as if I’m getting to know them so much better.

  4. I love “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas” and “Miracle on 34th Street” When I was a kid, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was on every year at the same time as one of our family parties. So I associate it with Christmas, too.

    Naomi, I did Black Friday once and that was more than enough!

    Elaine, you bring tears to my eyes. No wonder those 3 little angels (your grandkids) mean so much to you! I can’t even imagine the pain of losing a child. I love the traditions you created to honor Bethany.

  5. I also won’t do Black Friday.

    And like Meg, Elaine’s honoring of her daughter’s memory brough tears to my eyes as well.

  6. Elaine, the comfort is in Him and knowing He’s near. Sometimes in the midst of all the chaos I’ve gone through I’ve sometimes felt far away (in the center of the chaos whirlwind) and simultaneously clost to Him (tucked under His wings). Strange, but that’s a place I’ve been in more than once.

  7. Elaine, I’ve thought often of you and your daughter as I read Deer Run. Hearing that God brought you comfort in the midst of your worst fears is such a testimony of encouragement, even though I’m sure the pain of loss will always be there. God bless you.

    It’s sure been fun to be on the blog tour. Thanks for dropping in, everyone.

  8. Nice. Merry Christams.

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