Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LOG CABIN CHRISTMAS - Jane Kirkpatrick, Liz Tolzma, Michelle Ule, Debra Ullrick, Erica Vetch - 4 Free Books

I'm really thrilled to be featuring the authors of this novella collection. It contains nine novellas set during American Pioneer Christmases. We have five of them here today.


Welcome, Jane. How did your story for the collection come about?
While working on a history book about a Christian community of the 19th century (to accompany a three book novel series) I read a copy of a quilt historian journal.  It told the story of a signature quilt with all the blocks done by different women for a single man.  That gave me the idea for The Courting Quilt.

What are you reading right now?
I'm reading Sandra Byrd's To Die For, set in 16th century. I'm also reading a biography of Dorthea Dix.

What other books have you had published?
I'm the author eighteen novels (my first contemporary comes out next month!) and three non-fiction titles. This is my first venture into the novella realm and I'll be joining three other others next year for the Midwife's Legacy, also with Barbour.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
For me it was writing within that 20,000 word limit since a couple of my novels are tomes of 130,000 words -- back when those big books were acceptable. Because we could each write in the setting we wished with the thread between us being the log cabin, we were pretty independent. With the Midwife novella collection, we needed to tie the pieces together more and that was fun and challenging too.

How did collaborating with this team impact you? 
I'd never written what I would call a sweet romance before so discovering how others have done that was a good impact. I read the other authors works (not their contributions to this piece) so I could get a feel for their voice. It was very enriching.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
They just came to me! Mary Bishop and Richard Taylor are the primaries.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story? 
That our initial reactions to people and events are not always the best judge.  And I hope it's a light story that helps people see that even in the worst of times, there can be a silver lining stitched by the hand of God.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers?
If so, why?  Yes. Mostly to keep up with the business of writing, the marketplace, be exposed to writers at various stages of their career and to help cheer people on (and maybe have a little cheer myself!)

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Write the best story you can and always have a "story" about the story because people often remember you as the storyteller as much as they will your story.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet? 
My website is http://www.jkbooks.com  where you can visit my blog www.janeswordsofencouragement.blogspot.com  or my dog's blog www.bodaciousbothedog.blogspot.com  who has more followers than I do I think!  I'm also on facebook https://www.facebook.com/theauthorjanekirkpatrick


Now we'll talk with Liz Tolsma. Welcome, Liz. How did your story for the collection come about?
I actually did the research for the story years ago when we were on vacation. As we were in the logging museum, the story came to me. I wrote the first three chapters and it sat in my desk until the call came for a Christmas novella centered around a log cabin. God’s timing is perfect.

What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading several different books by different publishers as I prepare to pitch two projects at the ACFW conference in September. I’m looking forward to reading Sarah Sundin’s WWII novel Blue Skies Tomorrow.

What other books have you had published?
I have two short stories, "A Mother’s Love" and "As American As They Come" in the collection Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
The word count limit. I struggled so hard with this, but it helped make the story tighter and better in the end.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
I’m so privileged to be part of a book with these wonderful authors and humbled that I was chosen to participate with them.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My neighbor named her daughter Adelaide and I loved the old-fashioned sound of it. Adie is one of my daughter’s friends at school. Noah, also, sounded old-fashioned and yet was a name I loved.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
I want them to come away with the peace and comfort that God is covering us under his wings. There we can take refuge from all the world’s storms.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
Yes, I’m a member and have been for many years. My mentor Andrea Boeshaar encouraged me to join when it was still American Christian Romance Writers. I’ve never regretted it. This book wouldn’t have been possible if I weren’t a member.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Never give up. It took seven years from the time I wrote the first words of this book until it was published. You never know when or where your story will fit.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
They can find me at www.liztolsma.com and I’d love to have them join me at www.liztolsma.blogspot.com. I’m also on Facebook and on Twitter.


Michelle Ule has joined us. Welcome, Michelle. How did your story for the collection come about? 
My agent, Janet Grant of Books & Such, heard about the collection and suggested I come up with a story idea. I have a log cabin story from my family history that fit the bill and I wrote two chapters and a synopsis the day I got the invitation. It was a joy to fashion a story about people in my past whom I admired.

What are you reading right now?
The Paris Wife by Paula McClain (I wrote my senior thesis at UCLA on Ernest Hemingway)

What other books have you had published?
None!  This is the first one. For an interesting perspective on my reaction to seeing my name on a book, see my blog here: 


What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
Knowing the stories written by my co-writers. That was not a problem with this collection, but on two others I've "auditioned" for, it was complicated meshing our story lines together.

How did collaborating with this team impact you? 
It's been fun to share the joy and the honor of publishing with such fine writers.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most came from my family history, the others were chosen based on popular names in 1836 Texas.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story? 
It's important to "do the right thing," particularly to forgive, when loved ones are involved.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why
Yes. I've been a member four or five years; for the networking opportunities, to enter the Genesis contest (finalist last year) and to keep track of events in the changing world of Christian fiction.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author? 
Write out of your heart and emotions. 

Where can my readers find you on the Internet? 
http:michelleule.wordpress.com 




Now we're welcoming Debra Ullrick. How did your story for the collection come about?
My fabulous agent Tamela Hancock Murray contacted me, telling me that Barbour was looking for log cabin novellas. Since I actually lived in an old homestead, stayed in many historical log cabins, and had access to several log cabins and their history, I thought it would be fun. Toss in my Germans from Russia heritage and A Grand County Christmas was born.

What are you reading right now?
A Prairie Christmas Collection

What other books have you had published?
Besides my novella in A Log Cabin Christmas, The Bride Wore Coveralls, Déjà vu Bride, Dixie Hearts, The Unexpected Bride, The Unlikely Wife, and Christmas Belles of Georgia.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
None of these were hard at all. However, if I had to say something, maybe it was keeping the details straight. In Christmas Belles of Georgia, the heroines are identical quads, so we had to make sure we had the same height, eye color, and the letter from the lawyer had to say the same thing and have the same dates. But, Jeanie Smith Cash, whose idea this was, made it easy by supplying all of us with that information. Thank you, Jeanie!

How did collaborating with this team impact you?

We didn’t really collaborate on A Log Cabin Christmas because they were all individual stories.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
By looking online. I looked around until their names clicked with me.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
That we need to trust God no matter how dire our circumstances look. Sometimes the biggest blessings come from our biggest trials.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers?
If so, why? Yes. Because it’s a wonderful group of Christian writers, and I’ve made some fabulous friends because of it. Plus, I sold my first book at an ACRW conference. (That’s what the ACFWwas called back then. Those initials stand for… American Christian Romance Writers)

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
If you find someone who understands your voice and your style, who doesn’t try to change them, hang on to them, they are worth their weight in gold.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
On my website at www.debraullrick.com or Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Shoutlife.


The last author joining us is Erica Vetsch. Glad to have you, Erica.  How did your story for the collection come about?
The first story I pitched for this collection didn’t make the cut because it was too similar to the story Margaret Brownley had pitched. Thankfully, Becky Germany asked me to submit another story idea, and this novella popped into my head. I’m so glad it did, as I really love the characters and storyline for Christmas Service.

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Anne Mateer’s debut novel Wings of a Dream. It’s excellent!

What other books have you had published?
I’ve had eight Heartsongs, a 3-in-1 collection of Heartsongs called Idaho Brides, this Christmas novella, as well as my debut trade-length novel also releasing this month titled A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
The tight word count. I always have to watch my story lengths.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
I’m really honored to be a part of this group of novelists. Such stellar writers. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s stories. There’s really a great mix of settings, ethnicities, and writing styles. Though we worked autonomously on our stories, it was really great knowing I was going to be part of such a wonderful group of writers.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
 My heroine is named after my pastor’s daughter, Elizabeth Sorensen, and my hero, Todd Rambek, is named after a family I met a few years ago from Norway. The Rambeks were staying in Rochester for a year on a work project.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
A fun read that puts them in the mood for Christmas, and that they will be reminded what true service in the Church is all about.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
Yes, ma’am, I am a member, because of all the benefits I receive and the wonderful fellowship. I’ve made so many friends in the writing business through ACFW.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
I’ve received a lot of very good advice. For today, since I’m working on this particular thing in the story I’m writing now, I’ll say no conflict, no story. You have to have conflict, or your story is boring.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
On Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erica-Vetsch/168952446490736

Thank you, Jane, Liz, Michelle, Debra, and Erica for the fun interview.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
A Log Cabin Christmas: 9 Historical Romances during American Pioneer Christmases


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

39 comments:

Annette W. said...

Four stories in one book sounds great!
Annette in PA

Rebecca said...

This book looks absolutely amazing. I would love to win this. Thanks for the chance to win this.

I am from Oklahoma.

Salena Stormo said...

A collaboration of spectacular authors! I love the sound of this book! Please sign me up!

Salena
Texas

scottsgal said...

LOVE holiday stories - great cover too
Cheryl in IL
msboatgal at aol.com

Jane Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks for asking me about my writing and for the interviews with my sister authors! It's great to see where their stories came from and makes their work more personal. It's great to be a part of this collection!

Patty said...

What a great deal! All these stories in one book...

Patty in SC

Linda Kish said...

It's so great. Christmas anthologies are coming again.

California

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Trinity Rose said...

I love Christmas stories.
I know some of these authors.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Trinity Rose from OH

Jo said...

I love Christmas stories and love to read books by different authors in one book. Thanks for the opportunity of winning this book.

Blessings,
Jo from Southern Arizona
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Robyn said...

What a great batch of interviews. Loved reading about each one of you. Your collection of novellas sounds like just the thing to cozy up in front of a fire and read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
NE

kmannrn said...

I love to read Christmas books. I am looking forward to reading this one.
Mississippi

Judy said...

I love reading Christmas stories. I hope some of these will make me cry. (For joy that is!) I am familiar with Jane, Debra, and Erica's books. Liz and Michelle are new authors to me. I would love to win a copy of "Log Cabin Christmas". It is time to start reading Christmas books! I've been listening to Christmas music on my morning walks, well over a month now. My husband just gives me that look!

Blessings to all!

Judy B from Indiana

Patsy said...

I really enjoy reading Christmas stories especially going into this time of year. Would love to read Log Cabin Christmas.

from South MS

plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Diana Flowers said...

WOW! I totally love that cover! I start collecting Christmas books around this time every year for the cold winters here in SC. Cuddling up by the fireplace, with a good Christmas book, and hot chocolate makes the winters here a little more pleasant! Thanks!

dianalflowers[at]aol[dot]com
SC

Joanna Richmond said...

this looks like a interesting book. I would Love to win it.
God Bless
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch, NC.

Julie Arduini said...

This is a perfect book to read curled up in a blanket next to a fire. I can't wait to read it.

Julie Arduini, Ohio
juliearduini(at)juliearduini(dot)com

CarlybirdK said...

I loved A Prairie Christmas last year and I know this one will be great too! Thank you.
Carly in NC

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds like some very good stories I would love to win. Thanks for giving me a chance to be a winner!
God bless you!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

apple blossom said...

sounds like a wonderful winter read. love to win it. thanks for the chance. I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lorna Faith said...

Great to have so many authors collaborating in one book...what fun:)
Would love a chance to win!

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Abigail said...

Looks interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. I have an amazon wish list and this is one of the items that I have on it.Thanks , for the chance to win!
God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah said...

It looks and sounds interesting!
I like Christmas time.
Please enter me in the drawing.
Sarah Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks cool! LOL
All the books sound interesting!
Would love to win,please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Faye said...

What a fun bunch of interviews :) I can't believe how close Christmas is getting! Looks awesome :)

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

From South Dakota

Lucky Lady said...

Most definitely would love to win this week....4Free Books, wow! love it.....Lucky Lady/Oh

beemama said...

Two of my favorite things in a collection. It doesn't get much better than Christmas and pioneer life in one story. But you did it with more than one story in a book!
I would love to win one of these books.
Thanks for the interviews.
Shirley

Anonymous said...

What fun interviews! Sounds like a great book to cuddle up with on a rainy/snowy day in front of the fireplace. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win!
Blessings,
Kelly Y in Virginia
kelly*at*dkcountryarts*dot*com

Anonymous said...

I love Christmas stories! Thanks for the great advice too!
Amber S.
Larspur, CO

Courtney said...

4 books in one?! Sounds great!! Thanks for the chance to win!

Courtney from WA state

Pam K. said...

This sounds like a great selection of Christmas stories. I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the interviews with some of the authors and for the opportunity to win.

pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net
Kansas

Anonymous said...

I would love to win. Thank You for the chance.

angela from KY

holdenj said...

I love the idea of reading all of these pioneer Christmas stories! Thanks!
Julie in MN

Marianne said...

Would love to win these, Lena. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

mitzi_wanham@yahoo.com

from Peace River Country, Alberta

Aizess said...

A nice collection of stories in time for Christmas! Please enter me in the giveaway.

I live in New York

Mark said...

I'd like to win this one. Ohio here

Darlene said...

I keep looking at this book each time I go in my bookstore. I've really been considering getting it, winning it would be even better!
Darlene NC

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Huge congratulations to these authors for making the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list this week.

Erica Vetsch said...

Lena, thank you so much for having us on your blog, and for the congrats on the NYT listing.

I'm sorry I was out of town when this blog post first went live, and I wasn't able to respond individually to each of the commentors.

Thank you, everyone, for commenting, and good luck in the drawing!

Merry said...

Log Cabin Christmas sounds like a perfect book as the holidays draw near. Please add me!
Merry in TX