Welcome back, Lynette. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was seven years old and my parents were watching The 700 Club one night, and I listened to the plan of salvation they talked about on the show. So when it came time to pray, I prayed along with the announcer, and then I told my parents what I’d done. They were very excited. Since then it has been a 41-year journey of growing through the hills and valleys, with God’s help.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Now, Ms. Lena, that is just not a fair question! :) I know many, many authors who are extremely talented and from whom I could learn a lot. I believe I’d choose a few dear author-friends whom I miss and I don’t get to see nearly enough. It would be great fun to brainstorm and spin stories with Elizabeth Goddard, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Vannetta Chapman, and Linda Kozar. They are all gifted in a way with words, with different styles from each other. Aw, now I’ve left dozens and dozens off that list ... sorry!
What a wonderful group. I love all four of them. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
No, I don’t. That’s not a direction I’ve felt led to go. The way my life has had bumps in the road over the past 6-7 years, I’m not sure I’m ready yet to share, not as a speaker, anyway. Individually, if I encounter a woman who is struggling with parenting and family issues and empty-nesting, I’m happy to share some of my story with her and, I hope, offer encouragement.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
That is hard to think of, because usually if something embarrassing happens to me, I try to block it out and forget it as soon as it’s over! I do have one particularly now-funny incident that happened to me at a writers’ conference. I had a morning appointment with an acquisitions editor and consumed three cups of strong coffee before the appointment. Needless to say I was wired with plenty of caffeine and enthusiasm as I pitched my book. After I finished motoring on about my story, he simply sat back and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk so fast in my life.” And I simply chuckled and tried not to crawl under the table. I think I shrugged. After that I determined never to drink that much coffee before a business appointment of any kind again!
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I would ask them what is keeping them from starting? Many times people do start writing the book, but they don’t finish it. I tell them to keep at it and make the time to do it, then write another, and another.
Tell us about the featured book.
Joanna and her three sisters were raised on a
Kentucky horse farm by a
single mother after a divorce she didn’t want—a woman who never lost her faith,
no matter how bad things got. While Robert J. Tucker, known to all simply as
“Tuck,” traveled the world as an officer in the Marine Corps, the five Tucker
women never had much . . . but they always had fun making the most of what they
did have, especially at Christmastime. It was their mother’s favorite holiday,
and she had a way of drawing her girls into the festivities and traditions.
All I Want For Christmas – Sandra Bricker
The youngest of the Tucker girls, Joanna was just seventeen when their mother was killed by a drunk driver. She and her older sisters struggled for a while to remain together on the farm, take care of the horses they loved, staying ahead of the bill collectors. But each of them eventually made their way out into the world to chase their own dreams. Joanna was the last to leave, opting to rent out the ranch when she left. None of them had ever thought of selling the place. After all, it had been in their dad’s family for generations.
Joanna has just been laid off from her job or she might not have been home when the messenger showed up at her door that morning. At his insistence, she allowed him to remain until she read the fourth copy of a letter they’d been trying to deliver to her. The father she hasn’t heard from in years has passed away, and the horse farm has been left equally to her and her sisters, prompting Joanna to take a road trip back to the old
Kentucky homestead. If
nothing else, she’ll at least have a familiar roof over her head while she
decides what to do with the rest of her life.
Her Old Kentucky Home – Lynette Sowell
Like her two older sisters, Isabella escaped life on the ranch to pursue something more promising. She’s always felt a little guilty for leaving Joanna behind alone while she ran toward
California and hardly ever looked back. Recruited by a tech
company in Silicon Valley straight out of college,
she’s been on the fast track ever since. Her home base now is on the 22nd
floor of a Chicago high-rise, but with 45 weeks a year spent on airplanes and
in hotels, she doesn’t occupy enough time there to call it home.
She can’t really call David a boyfriend, either. The fellow
native whom she met during a chance encounter at the gym deserves better than
what she offers him. She sees David about as often as she sees her apartment.
Too bad, too. They had such potential in the beginning. But sweet David’s hopes
and dreams for the future revolve around a very different lifestyle than the
one Isabella leads. She’s tried to break it off with him—more than once—but the
poor guy seems determined to wait on her forever.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Barbara Scott
Sophia Tucker loves animals, especially horses. In fact, she’s been chasing a lifelong dream to open an equine veterinary practice. But until she saves enough money to start her own business, she works for another vet in a strictly cat practice—not her dream job. When the registered letter arrives, informing her that their father has left the horse farm in Kentucky where she grew up to her and her sisters, Sophie hopes the inheritance will help raise the money for that vet practice she’s been dreaming about all her life.
When her sister Joanna convinces her to return home for Christmas, it’s great to see her two younger sisters—and even to revive some of those Christmas traditions they used to share with their mother—but when she gets her first look of the rundown horse farm, her hope for selling the place at top dollar evaporates.
Home For Christmas – Lenora Worth
Amy Tucker Brosseau doesn’t have a career to speak of—not one career anyway. She waits tables in a quaint New Orleans restaurant each morning, drives a school bus in the afternoon, and bakes cakes and pastries on the side—all to try and force those frayed ends to meet so she can take care of her seven-year-old son Timothy and give him the life she and Tim always dreamed of providing for him. Since Tim, an electrician, was electrocuted in a work accident, they’ve been living with Tim’s sister and her family.
Amanda Brosseau is a great sister-in-law and she’s been kind to Amy and Timothy, but Amy longs for her own place out from the city—a place where Timothy can run and play the way she and her sisters used to while growing up on the ranch back in
Amy can’t help wondering if the inheritance might help her finish her business degree, and she’s excited about the prospect of seeing her siblings again. When she calls Sophia to talk about this new development, her sister tells her a lot is going on and begs her to come home. Sophia says Joanna has already returned to their family home, and Bella is considering it too . . . just in time for Christmas.
The four women have one very special Christmas that sets each of them on a journey to love.
Please give us the first page of the book.
If you’re reading this letter, my attorney has finally located you. The last address I had for you was no good, so they hired an investigator to track you down and let you know about my fate. It seems you girls have scattered in every different direction, but I wanted you all to know that the horse farm is legally yours now.
Not that it belonged to anyone else since the day your beautiful mom came to stay.
I wish we could have spent some time together before the cancer got ahold of me—just one of the many regrets I have these days. Baby, I hope you’ve been able to find a little forgiveness for your old man over the years. I wasn’t the best father—or any kind of father, really—but I’ve always loved you. I pray you know that, and I’m truly sorry for all the years we lost.
Joanna had intended to sleep in past seven, especially now that she had the option—an unusual occurrence for a Thursday morning except for her recent state of unemployment. But her internal clock had gone off at ten minutes before the hour just to irritate her. The voices in her head simply refused to shut up, and she finally surrendered and climbed out from under the multiple quilts layered over her.
She padded to the kitchenette in bare feet, still wearing her drawstring, pink-flannel pants and long-sleeved
She pressed a folded paper towel into the brew basket and spooned some coffee
into it before running water into the carafe. By the time she produced a mug
from one of the hooks under the shelf, the fragrance of freshly brewing coffee
tickled her nose. After filling her mug, she noticed a few grounds floating
around in the cup and scooped them out with the back of the spoon before
stirring in the creamer. She nearly dropped the spoon when someone pounded on
her door three times.
Joanna squinted at the clock. “It’s not even eight o’clock in the morning,” she bellowed as she made her way across the room. Peering through the peephole, she grimaced at the distorted image of a young twentysomething with wire-rimmed glasses. The collar of his coat stood upright against the wind howling through the narrow passage way. After a moment, he thumped his gloved fist against the door again, twice this time.
Joanna left the security chain in place and unlocked two deadbolts and the doorknob. She pulled the door back a few inches and looked out through the opening.
“What do you want? My husband is sleeping,” she fibbed.
The guy narrowed his eyes for a few beats before answering. “Miss Tucker? Joanna Tucker?”
I’m really looking forward to reading this book. It can’t get here fast enough for me. How can readers find you on the Internet?You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/lynettesowellauthor, on Twitter at @LynetteSowell and on Pinterest (yay!) as LynetteSowell.
Thank you, Lynette, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers are as eager to read this book as I am.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Sleigh Bells Ring - Christianbook.com
Sleigh Bells Ring: Four Contemporary Romance Novellas - Amazon.com
Sleigh Bells Ring: Four Contemporary Romance Novellas - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: