Thursday, September 24, 2009

BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS - Allie Pleiter - Free Book

I'm pleased to feature Allie on the blog again. Here's her bio:

An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.

Welcome, Allie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m in talks for a new series of linked historicals and contemporaries for Steeple Hill. I love both formats, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of pulling them together into one sweeping multi-generational series. I can’t say much more than that--and that I’m very excited!

Tell us a little about your family.
They put up with more than most families, that’s for sure. I’m afraid being a writer only exaggerates all my goofy tendencies. And we will not discuss how much yarn is all over my house--I’m an obsessive knitter. I’m in the midst of raising teenagers, so life is never, ever boring. My husband is a car guy, and has the patience of a saint.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

I’m a very impressionable reader, so I have to be careful what I read. I don’t read historicals when I’m writing historicals, although I’ve learned that audiobooks can be useful because they put the musicality of the language into my head. I read very widely--non-fiction, fiction, historical, contemporary, all sorts. It’s much harder to read for pleasure when you write for work...I still love to read, but it’s not the “getaway” it is for me that it is for other people.
What are you working on right now?

I’m finishing up the novella, Bluegrass Easter, that will be in Easter Promises released from Steeple Hill in March 2010. Then I’ve got to polish up the historical/contemporary proposal and get right back into final re-writes for the sequel to Masked by Moonlight, called The Midnight Messenger, which comes out later next year.

What outside interests do you have?

Many people know me as much for my knitting as for my writing. That’s my passion off the page, definitely. Well, and cupcakes. And chocolate. And coffee.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I choose a city I want to get to know. It’s an important part of my process to spend time in the city where my books are set. It’s part of the fun for me. So I choose a location that calls to me somehow. Right now, it’s Charleston, South Carolina, that’s calling my name--the perfect escape from Chicago’s challenging winters, don’t you think?

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Right now, it’d have to be the World War I dirigible pilot that I’m researching for my book. I’d have a ton of questions to ask him!

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

I’m glad I didn’t know much--I’d never have pushed forward if I’d known all that was waiting for me. I suppose, then, that I’d say I wished I’d known that many of the frustrating things about writing don’t go away with success or publication. You never, ever “arrive.”
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

I’m at a place where I can only see a small bit ahead. There’s a lot of unknowns in my future, and I’m the kind of person who wants a detailed plan (but I’m a “pantser”--I never plot!--go figure). So the lesson for me is trust. And faith.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Write. Nothing beats it. Nothing replaces it. Nothing happens if you try to get around it.
Gather friends who write. This business has the oddest of challenges and you need folks around you who understand the idiosyncrasies.
On the other hand, don’t live all your life on the page. Make sure your real life is as rich and compelling as the tales you tell. I always tell writers “your books will not come and visit you in the nursing home.”

Tell us about the featured book.

Bluegrass Christmas was great fun to write. Middleburg and its quirky inhabitants make funny material for a holiday episode. Mac MacCarthy isn’t expecting to find the love of his life living over his office. And Mary Thorpe isn’t getting anything close to the “perfect small town Christmas” she was seeking. Like all good love stories, they make each other miserable before they make each other happy, but there are lots of good laughs along the way.
Back Cover Copy:
ISBN 13# 978-0-373-87556-6
An Old Fashioned Christmas...
That’s what led new believer Mary Thorpe to start over in quaint Middleburg, Kentucky. As director of the church’s Christmas pageant, Mary’s job is to bring the townspeople together, to remind them what the season is really about. But everyone is all riled up over one very handsome man: the man daring to run against Middleburg’s popular long-standing mayor. Mac MacCarthy wants change. Mary wants things to stay as they are. Is there a happy medium? Both Mac and Mary are in for one very big Christmas surprise.
How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is, and if you are a knitter, my knitting blog is Come visit!
Thank you, Allie, for spending this time with us. I love to knit, too. I talked to Camy and another author at conference about knitting Victorian lace. I'm just going to have to get started on that. I've ordered the book.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Bluegrass Christmas:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

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 6 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. Here’s a link.


Marjorie said...

The front cover is beautiful,
please count me in for this
great Christmas book.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Virginia said...

Thanks for this great interview and giveaway! I also love chocolate and coffee, knitting and other handcrafts. It's quite therapeutic to knit afghans on those big circular needles! I have made several afghans for friends that way, and they love them! BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS sounds like a wonderful holiday romance. Please enter my name in the drawing.
gcwhiskas at aol dot com

host said...

Hi! Very interesting interview :) I adore chocolate too but kniting isn't something I was able to learn :)
Bluegrass Christmas ounds great, please count me in.

Mark said...

Interesting review. Count me in

connie e said...

Please count me in the drawing! The book sounds really great!


Linda said...

I gotta read at least one Christmas novel. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! It was great getting to know Allie better. So far the two books of hers that I have read I have loved so I am sure I would enjoy this one.

kristen said...

Yeah, I know being a writer has exaggerated my odd qualities!!:)
Very fun interview! Thanks

Moonpie said...

I really like books that have a seasonal story. I like having something special to read concerning that holiday. Looks great! Please enter me. Thanks for the chance to win.

Katherine said...

This book looks really good. Please enter me for this drawing.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful story...please count me in. thanks.

karen k

Allie Pleiter said...

Yes, Marjorie, I love the cover, too! Virginia, most of my next books will feature knitting characters, so you should love them. Cherie, thanks for the kind words--I'm glad so many commentors found the book worth a look! It's really a unique twist on the Christmas season, I think you'll enjoy the humor and the deeper message. Thanks, everyone!

~Tami said...

Count me in for a chance to win!

Ausjenny said...

Looks like a great book oh and I have to say I went to the dentist this week to fix a tooth I broke and she thinks chocolate is the best thing ever invented so I guess that means its ok to eat!
please enter me I love all things christmas

Marla said...

Would love to win this for my friend who loves the Love Inspired books. I give her little gifts throughout the year. This would be one she would love. Thank you for the entry.

Sheila Deeth said...

I like your nursing home comment. And I like the look of your book too.

Laney4 said...

Hi! Welcome back!
Thanks for offering what appears to be a great read as a giveaway. I don't think you can go wrong with Christmas stories (at least not for ME!). I've worked in offices throughout my life, so having the guy in an office is a plus too. The best part to me, though, is when you said "there are lots of good laughs along the way." I SOOOO enjoy good laughs in a book. Many a time I have been sitting in the doctor's waiting room or on a public bench when reading, and then I laugh right out loud. I get lots of looks, but I don't care! Laughter truly is the best medicine!
Thanks for offering another bonus in life!

Michelle said...

Thanks for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Abi said...

I love Love Inspired books. Christmas and romance go together.
Please include me in the drawing. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Allie Pleiter said...

A chocolate loving dentist...mmm...if that isn't a book idea I don't know what is!

gahome2mom said...

I would love to read another Christmas book. I have not read anything by Allie. Thanks.


r. k. said...

please consider the newly released true novel by Eloquent Books entitled Euclid Avenue, Our scars mean something. the press release can be seen at the book is also available at barnes & noble, books & co, books-a-million, borders, select hallmark book stores and

cheryl c said...

This sounds like a wonderful holiday romance, and I am so ready to start reading Christmas stories. They are always so heartwarming. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

castings at mindspring dot com

Julie said...

I love, love, love Christmas! and I love small towns. This sounds like a great book!

Great interview! Very personable.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book. I love Allie's books. Please enter me.

Anna W. said...

Great interview and sounds like a great book! Please enter me!

writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I liked the interview, and can hardly wait to read the book. ~Abby


Rose McCauley said...

Since I live in KY, I would love to have this book! Allie, I am the one who brought over the lady knitting with retractable pencils at the booksigning in denver! rose

Edna said...

the interview with Allie was great, she is a good writter and I would love to win this book. I really like Christmas books and as my son plays in a Blue grass band I also like bluegrass music. Thanks so much for the chance to win this one.


Ausjenny said...

Allie, i got to her husband this week so wont mention it!
it was so fun. we agree on not eating minites, columbines, fantails and definately not eating redskins (all aussie candy that is bad for breaking or pulling out fillings) but she cant give up chocolate so Im holding onto that! I know her hubby isn't of the same opion but I wont mention it to him.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. I love Christmas. Please entr me.


Brenda said...

I love christmas books! Please count me in on this great book.

dancealert at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

~Ley said...

I love these Bluegrass books. Please enter me in the drawing! Thank you.

Nancye said...

I would love to have this book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net