These Authors a Unique Approach to a Story and They Love Christmas

Xmas, Nativity Scene, 7

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

KARIN KAUFMAN (SPARROW HOUSE, a cozy mystery about ancestry and family trees)

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

Karin:  My favorite Christmas carol is “O Holy Night.” Like most carols, it has a beautiful melody, but unlike a lot of carols, its lyrics are also beautiful. And bold. Is there another Christmas carol that unabashedly mentions sin? Even the original French version does.

And then there are those two stirring lines, where melody and words meet perfectly—“Fall on your knees” and “Christ is the Lord.” No matter how many times I hear this carol, those two lines still touch something deep inside me.

I think the best versions are by Martina McBride and Celine Dion.

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?

I tend toward the traditional when I decorate, but only slightly. I also like a more modern look. I like it all. Honestly, I’m a Christmas decoration fanatic. I like simple wreaths tied with juniper and holly berries, but I also like wreaths made of bright, shiny, multicolored ball ornaments. I love trees decorated with simple wooden ornaments, or my bird ornaments, but I also love trees like the one I saw on TV the other day—heavily flocked and decorated with turquoise-colored ornaments.

Sometimes I go with a theme when I decorate, like birds and pinecones, but more often I go with a color or colors. This year it’s copper, browns, and greens in the living room and red in the kitchen. Of course, great thought went into this simple color theme—starting last June. And I already have ideas for next Christmas. I’m hopeless!Xmas, Colorful Tree

Karin Kaufman

Karin writes cozy mysteries with a bit of an edge. The first two books in her Anna Denning series, The Witch Tree and Sparrow House, are now out, and a third book is planned for this fall. Karin lives near the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Sophie and Cooper, her crazy but lovable shelter dogs.

Link to Karin’s show case on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. Check out a novel with twists and turns galore.

Xmas, Berries

KATIE GANSHERT (WILDFLOWERS FROM WINTER, romance, secrets, a few laughs)

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

Katie:  Oh man, that’s tough. It’s probably a tie between Little Drummer Boy and O Holy Night. Both of those really tug at my heart strings and lead me to worship. I feel so much kinship with that little drummer boy, when he has nothing fit to give the King. So he plays his drum for Him. He plays his best for Him. It inspires me to do the same. And then the lyrics of O Holy Night. They capture the magic and the anticipation of this amazing holiday. Long lay the world, in sin and error pining….a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices….And then when our voices rise together as we sing Fall on your knees. Oh hear the angel voices…It gets me every single time.

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

Katie:  I’m usually pretty laid back, but this year, I’m trying to be more of a fanatic. Our son is four years old and I feel like this is the first Christmas he might remember. I don’t want him to buy into this idea that Christmas is about toys and presents and getting. I want us to marvel at the manger. I want us to delight in the angels, and that star in the sky, and this amazing gift from God. I want him to celebrate the birth of Jesus—the light of the world who came in the dead of night. So this year, thanks to this book called The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Welchel, we’ve been doing something special each day of Advent to build the sense of anticipation.

Xmas, StarKatie Ganshert

Katie was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes  stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy  plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband,  playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of  adopting from the Congo. Her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, released this past May and her second novel, Wishing on Willows, will follow this March.

Link to Katie’s showcase on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. Find romance and faith at the same time.

Winter, Snow Covered Railing

MIKAYLA KAYNE (THE ANGEL CREST DECEPTION, an unusual twist to the end times)

Grace Awards:  Tell us about your fondest Christmas memory?

Mikayla:  A few years ago we created our own Norman Rockwell Christmas experience and coordinated four family’s schedules from three states to surprise my in-laws. I’m a stickler about Christmas morning being pajama time in our own house, so we had a massive family sleepover on Christmas Eve, enjoyed gifts and brunch at home, then caravanned almost two hours to Grandmother’s house. By the time they knew anyone was there, we had sixteen people wearing elf hats and reindeer antlers lined up singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” outside my in-law’s family room window. My mother-in-law had been recovering from a major surgery and couldn’t travel, so seeing all of her kids and grandkids, even the ones from half-way across the country, standing there in the snow singing just floored her. It was a precious afternoon. We topped our road trip day off by visiting extended family, more quality cousin time, and the kind of snowball fight that teen girls will only have if they are from Atlanta.

Grace Awards:  What does Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (KJV) mean to you?

Mikayla:  We live in a time when peace is on everyone’s mind, rather, the lack of it. At Christmas, we call to mind Scriptures that refer to Jesus as the Prince of Peace, and this expectation that when He came it was to bring peace to the entire earth. The story of His birth is filled with that hope, but fast forward a bit, and Jesus Himself tells us that He didn’t yet come to bring peace, but a sword [Matthew 10:24]. Jesus does offer us peace, individually, but the idea of peace on the entire earth is still a future hope. Until the Millennial Reign of Christ, we won’t see peace on earth. When Jesus came as a baby, He had one purpose – to become the savior of the world through his death and resurrection, paying the price for the sins of all who choose to follow Him. That selfless act of love has caused more conflict than any one event since, because so many are willful and stubborn, offended by His sacrifice, unable to face their grave need for salvation. Peace happens one heart at a time, as we surrender ourselves to Jesus and accept His ultimate gift.Xmas, Cross

Mikayla Kayne

Mikayla moved this year from the Chicago area to Rochester, NY with her husband and co-writer, Gregory, and their three sons. Yes, she is aware that it’s just as cold and snowy there. Some people are crazy like that.

Link to Milayla’s showcase on the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour. Go on an extraordinary journey to the end times.

Xmas, Bow Border

This concludes the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour and it sure has been merry, joyous, and fun.

Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering…voting for the 2012 Grace Awards will begin on December 31st. There will be instruction on the Grace Awards blog on how to vote for you favorite books of this past year.

Xmas, Santa

Have A Very Merry, Blessed Christmas Filled with Good Reading and Good Cheer!!!

And A Healthy, Happy, Prosperous New Year!!! Shalom!!!

Xmas, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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