VICTORY by DeEtte Beckstead ~ fantasy in the winter

As we know all writers become an overnight success. Well, that’s “Bah, humbug.” DeEtte started writing in the 2007 NaNoWriMo challenge, as so many authors have. The outcome is this wonderful story called VICTORY.

Victory, Amazon

 

Victory, a town where the people love their country and their neighbors, but what happens when two visitors come to town? One comes with fear and control, slowly taking away the freedoms the people love. The other comes with faith. When darkness overtakes the small town who will have Victory? This is a struggle between good and evil and the victim could be a little girl.

 

Xmas, Angel

 

Gracie, our little Christmas angel, love a good winter fantasy story and she’s thrilled to be interviewing an author with such a love of family and a reverence for life.

 

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

DeEtte:  My maternal grandmother died the day before my 15th birthday, on December 22. I was very close to her and the loss was great. My birthday was almost forgotten by all of us in our grief. That Christmas was a bittersweet one. We celebrated the birth of Jesus, as well as thinking about how much my grandmother loved each of us. Three years later, my mother died in November. That first Christmas without her was very difficult. I spent it with my older sister and her family.  It is still hard each year when my mother’s Christmas bell is hung on the tree, even after 43 years. However, I try to remember the good times with my mother and grandmother instead of dwelling on the sadness of not seeing them. I have the hope of being with them both in Heaven one day.

DeEtte Beckstead

Gracie:  Do you have a particular Christmas tradition? Perhaps something handed down from generation to generation?

DeEtte:  I am privileged to have the glass bell that was on my mother’s first Christmas tree in 1915. It has always had a place of honor on our tree, and even more since my mother died in 1970. Each year we place it gently and lovingly near the top of the tree. When my children were growing up, I told them that Grandma’s bell would remain on the tree as long as they got along, but if they fought, the bell would be removed until they proved they could be loving to each other. There was only one year I had to remove it at all. It was a beautiful reminder to them.

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

DeEtte: My favorite Christmas movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  It reminds me that every life is important and how each life affects so many others.

VICTORY Purchase Links:

Amazon/Kindle   http://amzn.to/1cbg46o

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GOODBYE NOEL by Nike Chillemi ~ a Christmas/New Year whodunit

For some readers there’s nothing better than murder at Christmas with a detective slogging through snow drifts chasing after a killer. If that’s you, then check out GOODBYE NOEL, set in the mid-1940s on the south shore of Long Island. You’ll be mesmerized by the lingo, fashion, cars, and culture of the era.

Goodbye Noel, Amazon Lg

The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust the stalwart village detective with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?

Pediatric nurse, Katrina Lenart, grew up strong willed and independent minded, while sharing her mother’s flair for high fashion. When the police chief gives her an orphaned baby to care for, her maternal instincts take over and she’s willing to fight anyone who might not have the infant’s best interests at heart, even the man she’s growing to love. After an attempt is made to kidnap the baby, she and the resolute village detective team up and do some sleuthing, undercover at a cult as well as at a fancy ball.

Detective Ian Daltry is a widower with a child and is not interested in a new love. Hunting a killer who stops at nothing has placed him in the position where he must protect a beautiful young woman he’s drawn to. Is there’s something he’s overlooked in analyzing the case? Will he find out what that is before this ruthless murderer kills someone he loves?

Xmas, Angel

Of course, Gracie, our little Christmas angel was around in the 1940s and particularly recalls the jolly merriment at Christmas in America then, and also the reverence. So, she’s interested in interviewing an author who writes about that time period and finding out what makes her tick.

Gracie:  Are you a Christmas fanatic…a real crazy? Or is your approach more down to earth and relaxed?

IMG_1330Nike:  Not a real crazy, but I’d say I’m determined. I do things a certain way every year. The outside lights go up first. My porch and the postage stamp front yard we have here in Gotham are done in burgundy-red with a lot of white lights. Both miniature lights and then huge bulbs on the small fir trees and bushes. Then I come inside and start on the interior which is all in traditional Christmas-red, green, white, with dashes of silver and gold. I do the staircase first, every year. Then the diningroom, the kitchen, the living room. I also put up a few decorations upstairs. The last thing to go up is the tree. My youngest is always after me to get the tree up early, but I won’t. When I was a child we put a live tree up on Christmas Eve and took it down after Epiphany. I put up a faux tree, but it still goes last, usually a few days before Christmas Eve. I have ornaments from my mom, my grandmother, one of my aunts, and my mother-in-law. The story of our family is told in all the decorations I put away every year, only to take out the next year.

Gracie:  Do you have a particular Christmas tradition? Perhaps something handed down from generation to generation?

Nike:  Both my husband’s family and mine always had a meatless meal on Christmas Eve. We continue that in our house. Since my husband is Italian-American, I have been making seafood and pasta for the last few years. Before that, I was serving perogis in a butter sauce with sour cream, which come from my Eastern European side of the family.

Gracie:  Have you ever done something unusual or totally out of character for Christmas? 

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Nike:  Well, I don’t know how unusual this is, but it’s a tradition that our immediate family started. This wasn’t handed down to us. Every year we drive to the big mall on Long Island, not so much to shop, but to catch a Christmas movie and have dinner at a nice restaurant. While we’re there we’ll pick a few odds and ends up at the mall if we have to get something, but that’s almost an after thought.

GOODBYE NOEL Purchase Links:

Amazon/Kindle.   http://amzn.to/12nzi3j 

Christianbooks.com  http://bit.ly/1dW5KVg

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PAINT ME ALTHENA by Naomi Musch ~ a going home story

It’s Christmas time once again and for many it’s a going home time of year. In Naomi’s newest book, PAINT ME ALTHENA, a young wife and mother living under an alias wonders if she can ever go home again. That’s what makes this novel perfect for Christmas reading and/or gifting. PAINT ME ALTHENA. It’s not about Christmas. It’s about going home.

Paint Me Althena

Ava Day hasn’t been home for three years, even though home, where her estranged husband Ethan and their two little girls live, is on just the other side of the city. Searching for the girl she once was, Ava starts a new life as Althena and moves in with Dan, a biker who doesn’t know her secrets. But as her alias world comes crashing down, Ava’s heart yearns for the life she abandoned. Can she ever go home again, or have both she and Ethan moved on too far?

Ethan has carried on the best he could since Ava ran away. He’s become a popular artist and found real faith with the help of lovely widow Jackie Meyer. Then, just when he’s given up on Ava ever returning, she stumbles into their lives desperate for rescue. Ethan’s prayed for her –Lord how he’s prayed. But after what she’s done, can he ever truly forgive her?  And what about Jackie? They’ve grown close, and she’s been like a real mother to his girls. Haven’t they endured enough?

Xmas, Angel

Gracie, our little Christmas angel has been looking forward to this interview for some time. First of all, she wants to thank Naomi (who is a Grace Awards board member, by-the-way) on behalf of the Grace Awards for running things at the GA Facebook page and handling the marketing thread. Thank you girlfriend!

Gracie:  What is your favorite Christmas carol and why? Do you have a favorite performing artist who performs that song?

Naomi:  Tough question, but I love The Little Drummer Boy. The reason stems back to when I was a little girl watching that old Christmas cartoon by the same title. I was so moved, even at a young age, by the amazing images of Christ born to earth in a stable. I felt like that little boy, awed at the sight and having my heart stirred. I have a string of renditions I enjoy listening to. My favorite is by Glen Campbell, secondly the version by 4Him, and this year I discovered the a cappella version by Pentatonix.

Gracie:  I  discovered Pentatonix this year and all the other angels claim I’m addicted to Youtube. Well, I never. Can you imagine?

Gracie:  Are you a Christmas fanatic…a real crazy? Or is your approach more down to earth and relaxed?

Naomi:  I am definitely not a Christmas fanatic in the commercial or even decorative sense. We are pretty low key around here. A tree, a few lights, and Christmas cookie baking is the extent of my preparation. The biggest deal to me is having our family home. Now that my kids are all grown and some are raising and starting families of their own, I’m happy to just have them all come home, everybody talking at once, telling stories, laughing until we cry, eating fudge, watching old movies, hugging and teasing each other. We’ve had our share of ups and downs like most families, and I’m certain tough times will come around as long as we live, but we have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed to have each other. I’m so grateful and praise God for everything he works in our lives, even the discipline we need occasionally.

Gracie:  Tell us about your fondest Christmas memory.

Naomi:  One of my favorite Christmas memories involves going to find a Christmas tree with my dad. We always hiked around the woods searching for a tree, and our family still does that now. We rarely find a perfect tree, but a wild one. The particular year I’m thinking of was when my dad took along his .22 rifle to hunt rabbits while we searched for a tree. I loved hunting with my dad. It was as exciting as getting the tree. Thing is, I don’t remember even seeing any rabbits that day, but it was still an adventure.

Naomi Musch, Plaid

Facebook: Naomi Musch – Author

Twitter: NMusch

Goodreads: Naomi Dawn Musch

Naomi’s site and blogs: http://www.naomimusch.com

Write Reason

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Courtesy of Stock.xchng

 

FAITH IN THE SHADOWS by Sadie and Sofie Cuffe ~ winter setting

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The setting is a post-Civil War winter, so get yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle up with this historical read that will engage your mind and your heart. Perfect for Christmas reading or gifting. FAITH IN THE SHADOWS. And don’t we need faith in this wonderful season of promise, as we do in every season?

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The purple birthmark on her cheek brands Alice Wainwright a spinster. When her fiancé bullies her at their engagement party, blind Civil War veteran Hawk steps out of the dark and becomes her champion. Torn between honor and need, Hawk comes to work for the Wainwright family. Friendship turns to love, but each is blinded by a dark secret. Can they face the truth about each other before they’re torn apart?

Xmas, Angel

Our little Christmas angel Gracie is eager to ask the charming, delightful, and sometimes inexplicable Cuffe sisters a few questions.

 Gracie:  What is your favorite Christmas carol and why? Do you have a favorite performing artist who performs that song?

Sadie and Sophie:  Mary Did You Know? We love the line “When you’ve kissed your little Baby then you’ve kissed the face of God.” It’s humbling that our Savior left the glories of heaven to take on life as a human so He could save us all. (And we’re so grateful He did!)  As for performing artist, it’s a toss-up between Kenny Rogers and Kathy Mattea – both do an excellent job.

cuffe sisters

Gracie:  Are your Christmas decorations traditional, or do they have a more modern flare. Perhaps they’re eclectic? Do you have a particular theme? Or does each and every ornament and decoration have a personal meaning to you?

Sadie and Sophie:  Our decorations are eclectic, the accumulation of years of children and grandchildren’s contributions. And Sadie’s got a set of red and green tractor lights we put up around the office window. Sophie’s got some bling hanging from the wicked cool flamingo office deco, just to jazz it up a bit, although really, when has a flamingo ever needed jazzing?.

Gracie: Somehow the tractor lights and the flamingo doesn’t surprise me. (gives a wicked, oops an angelic grin)

Gracie:  What foods can be expected on your holiday menu? Are you known for a particular Christmas delicacy or treat?

Sadie and Sophie:  We always make up a ton of Aunt Mert’s Christmas bread. It’s a sweet bread, filled with brown sugar and cinnamon, rolled up into a tube and fashioned into a circle. Once baked we decorate it with white icing and top it with maraschino cherries and walnuts.

Christmas bread

Purchase Links:

Amazon/Kindle  http://amzn.to/JaW5wG

Barnes & Noble   http://bit.ly/1bA8aWa

A MIRACLE FOR MARI by Suzanne D. Williams ~ Christmas Themed

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What could be more perfect for Christmas than a girl who plays Mary, mother of Jesus, in the Christmas pageant?

 

I’m pregnant.”

All the air left his chest in a whoosh. Opening and closing his mouth, he sought for breath that wouldn’t come. Then his legs gave way, and he sank onto the tile in the hallway.

Pregnant. Mari was pregnant.

A fall from grace. A miracle of life. A gift of forgiveness.

Sixteen-year-old Mari Tatum has a secret. Forced to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the church play, she finds herself working alongside Shay McNab, the very boy she’s keeping a secret from. Yet in the story of Christ’s birth, she finds that in God’s hands her fall from grace can become a miracle. 

Drawing a parallel with the true story of Mary and Joseph, A MIRACLE FOR MARI, reaches into the heart of the Christmas message to bring hope and joy to families touched by teenage pregnancy. 

Purchase Links:

Amazon/Kindle  http://amzn.to/1bf3dRF

Barnes & Noble  http://bit.ly/1cUEu4D

Kobo  http://bit.ly/1bgpCKR

Xmas, Angel

Our little Christmas angel Gracie is thrilled to ask Suzanne a few questions. Gracie has always wished she had been one of the angels present at the birth of our Lord.

Gracie:  What is your favorite Christmas carol and why? Do you have a favorite performing artist who performs that song?

Suzanne:  Silent Night has always been my favorite song. I prefer Josh Groban’s recording from his album, Noel.

Suzanne D. Williams

Gracie:  Tell us about your fondest Christmas memory.

Suzanne: My fondest memory is of Christmas meals with my grandparents: the large farm meal, chatting with oodles of cousins, opening gifts, no matter how small. I never realized how special those times were until my grandfather passed away one year, and there I was staring at his empty chair. It was during my grief the following holiday, that I poured out my heart and put my memory down on the page.

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Courtesy of Stock.xchng

HEAVENLY HAVEN by Christine Lindsay First in the Grace Filled Christmas Book Bash

Heavenly Haven 2

 

 

The Grace Awards is thrilled to kick off its Grace Filled Christmas Book Bash 2013 with a delectable novel by renowned author Christine Lindsay, HEAVENLY HAVEN.

 

 

Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. That’s what the characters Jack and Shaina Burke think in HEAVENLY HAVEN.

But what about us readers in real life? We need to decorate the tree, the house, there’s baking to be done, choir practice, shopping, cleaning….

Remember the old adage—a woman’s work is never done. Or is it? Christmas is one of those times when women get caught up in what we think we should be doing. Is it possible other things are squeezing the most precious relationships out of our life and right under our noses? Life is too short.

On a trip through the majestic Canadian Rockies with my husband, I noticed a large artillery gun at the summit. My husband explained that avalanche control experts shoot artillery shells into the snowcaps to trigger avalanches. They do this to control the snows from building too high and thick and thereby causing a fatal avalanche.

I compared avalanche control to what I needed to do to keep my loved ones close. So, like avalanche control experts, I choose to cut back on my schedule to spend more togetherness time with my family.

Just like me in real life, Jack and Shaina Burke in HEAVENLY HAVEN thought they were fine too. Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and Shaina, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way…until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them.

I wrote my short Christmas novelette HEAVENLY HAVEN with the hope that the drama, suspense, and the romance inspire you into deeper love relationships this Christmas.

Heavenly Haven is available as an Ebook on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo.

 

Xmas, Angel

 

 

For some extra fun this year, we thought we’d have Gracie, our Christmas angel, ask Christine a few Christmasy questions.

 

Gracie:  Are your Christmas decorations traditional, or do they have a more modern flare. Perhaps they’re eclectic? Do you have a particular theme? Or does each and every ornament and decoration have a personal meaning to you?

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Christine and Puss Puss the kitty and Zeke.
Christine:  I LOVE to decorate at Christmas time, inside and out. My style is an eclectic bunch of ornaments around a couple of Christmas themes—color, music, words, and angels.  The color Gold is in the ribbons and metal tying in all the other colors on my tree and throughout my house. Gold makes me think of the King of Kings who came to us as a baby. And jewel colors, like ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, and emerald, again for the King of Kings. There are all sorts of ornaments on my tree and other spots in the house that denote music, because music was one of the ways God announced the birth of His son. I also love these musical instruments because my youngest son is a musician.
Gracie:  Are you a Christmas fanatic…a real crazy? Or is your approach more down to earth and relaxed?
Christine:  I’ve turned into a bit of a fanatic. The spiritual reasons for Christmas just excite me so much that I consider decorating and enjoying the full month of December with Christmassy things as a form of worship. I’m not into gifts much. But I love to listen to the music of Christmas–one the street corners, in church, at concerts, from children, and on TV. But I hate to turn Christmas into a hectic time. For me Christmas is the time to relax, slow down and enjoy those Christmas movies. Spend time taking the grandkids to fun Christmas events. Slow down in the store parking lot and give a Christmas gift to a stranger by letting them have that parking spot.
Gracie:  Tell us about your fondest Christmas memory.
Zeke Christmas
                       
 Zeke in front of the hearth.
Christine:  The memory that keeps coming to me lately is last year. We still had our dog Zeke, who passed on later in the spring. But last Christmas at ten years old, he still thought he was a puppy. Zeke and our three grandsons were going around and around one of the sofas in the living room chasing some radio controlled car. This went on for quite a while, and the laughter was amazing out of my three small grandsons. And in the middle of that parade was Zeke with the silliest, happiest, doggy grin you ever saw. 

The Grace Filled Christmas Book Bash 2013 Is Coming!!!

Xmas, Angel

Another Christmas season right around the bend and we’re so excited. We’ve got a line up of wonderful authors with delightful and inspiring novels perfect for a Christmas read or to gift.

Each author will have a day to showcase her novel and tell us exciting stuff about her Christmas memories, favorite recipes, and the like.

Oh, by the way, this is Gracie, our Christmas angel who can’t wait to interview our authors and find out more about their books. Not only that! She’s got an entire list of questions she can’t wait to ask our writers about their Christmas experiences.

So to find out more…come visit each and every author on their date right here!

Here’s the line up…

Heavenly Haven
Sat, Nov 30: Christine Lindsay ~ HEAVENLY HAVEN: Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. At least that’s what Jack and Shaina Burke thought. Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and Shaina, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way, until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them.
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/I5pozq
A Miracle For Mari
Wed, Dec 4: Suzanne D. Williams ~ A MIRACLE FOR MARI: A fall from grace. A miracle of life. A gift of forgiveness. Mari Tatum has a secret. Forced to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the church play, she finds herself working alongside Shay McNab, the very boy she’s keeping a secret from. Yet in the story of Christ’s birth, she finds that in God’s hands her fall from grace can become a miracle.
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/1bJp5lF
Faith In The Shadows
Sat, Dec 7: Sadie and Sofie Cuffe ~ FAITH IN THE SHADOWS: The purple birthmark on her cheek brands Alice Wainwright a spinster. When her fiancé bullies her at their engagement party, blind Civil War veteran Hawk steps out of the dark and becomes her champion. Torn between honor and need, Hawk comes to work for the Wainwright family. Friendship turns to love, but each is blinded by a dark secret. Can they face the truth about each other before they’re torn apart?
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/1aN4Ju7
Victory
Mon, Dec 9: Dette Bedkstead ~ VICTORY: Victory, a town where the people love their country and their neighbors, but what happens when two visitors come to town? One comes with fear and control, slowly taking away the freedoms the people love. The other comes with faith. When darkness overtakes the town who will have Victory?
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/1cbg46o
Paint Me Althena
Wed, Dec 11: Naomi Musch ~ PAINT ME ALTHENA: When still life artist Ethan Day discovers a fantasy painting by Althena Bell in a consignment shop, he’s sure he’s found Ava, his wife who abandoned him and their two little girls three years ago. Finding and rescuing her are one thing, but forgiveness and second chances are impeded by outsiders, and conflict between Ava’s search for identity and Ethan’s new faith might break the safety net he offers.
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/I9xPuh
Goodbye Noel, Amazon
Sat, Dec 14: Nike Chillemi ~ GOODBYE NOEL: The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will Katrina, a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust Detective Ian Daltry, the stalwart village detective, with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/17AXaGy
Walks Alone
Mon, Dec 16: Sandi Rog ~ WALKS ALONE: After fleeing her abusive uncle, Anna is determined to reach the city of her dreams. But White Eagle and his fierce warriors take her prisoner and this Cheyenne warrior forces her to be his wife. White Eagle is disillusioned with his faith after a minister leads a massacre on his peaceful tribe. Where is his God? He’s definitely not with the white men who are slaughtering his people. But White Eagle also can’t give in to the idolatry practiced by his fellow tribesmen. Only the Truth can set him free. And it’s found in beautiful Anna’s carpetbag.  *To read first pages http://amzn.to/I8Iwgm
Claddagh
Wed, Dec 18: Tammy Doherty ~ CLADDAUGH: Leigh Latham chose love over money but when the dream becomes a nightmare, she runs back to the friends left behind. Marshal Rory Johnston thought he was over Leigh. Now she’s back and he isn’t sure they can be just friends.  Can he protect her and his heart at the same time?
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/I8Iwgm
Out For Blood
Sat, Dec 21: Marcy G. Dyer ~ OUT FOR BLOOD: Dialysis nurse, Danielle Battershawn’s, life is turned upside down when her identical twin is murdered. As she strives to deal with yet another death, the killer sets his sights on eliminating her. Can handsome security consultant, Tyler Covington, keep her alive?
*To read first pages http://amzn.to/1fsYb8m
*****     *****
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