Friday, October 29, 2010

LOVE FINDS YOU UNDER THE MISTLETOE - Irene Brand, Anita Higman - 2 Free Books

Readers, I've read this book, and you'll love it.

Welcome back, Irene. How did your story for the collection come about?

Originally, I wrote the story as a full length book. The editors decided that my story about Mistletoe, Kentucky, and one by Anita Higman with a Noel, Missouri, setting would be suitable for a test-run to see if readers were open to a series of Christmas novellas.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading an anthology, Ozark Weddings, written by Anita Higman and Janice Thompson. I’m also reading an “old” title, The Ivy Tree, by Mary Stewart.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have 46 titles in print (this doesn’t include reprints). These include historical, contemporary, some suspense titles. As for unpublished books, I probably have as many partial or completed manuscripts unpublished as I have published books. I don’t have a listing of all those titles.

What is the hardest thing about writing a novella collection?

Making one word take the place of two or three words. To tell a full story in a limited amount of space. When the two stories were connected, I had to be sure, the few times I referred to Anita’s plot, that it was compatible with what she’d written.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?

It’s always a challenge to write as a team; however, Anita and I worked well together, keeping in touch by e-mail and telephone. We both considered the other’s viewpoints, and our individual stories were strengthened by input from the other. We respected the work ethic of the other and became long distance friends.

Anita is a friend of mine, too. How do you choose your characters’ names?

I keep a running list of names I’ve used in other books, so as not to repeat the main characters’ names. I never use the name of an acquaintance I don’t respect, unless it’s the villain’s name. When writing historical books, I check the internet for listing of names used in that particular time period.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?

That God-given love is something to accept and cherish in spite of extenuating circumstances that seem to endanger that love.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?

Yes, I have been a member for several years. The conferences offer valuable learning and fellowship experiences. It’s a good organization to keep in touch with others who are like-minded.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?

Two slogans that I have prominently displayed in my office. “Footprints in the sands of time are not made sitting down,” and “Success isn’t given to the talented, it’s taken by those who struggle, sacrifice, and reach for it.”

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Welcome back to my blog, Anita. How did your story for the collection come about?

My novels are more character driven, and so my characters tend to move the story along. The idea for Once Upon a Christmas Eve may have started with my interest in the fairy archetype. I loved the movies Cold Comfort Farm and Chocolat for that very reason. There was something enchanting about those two heroines as they whirled around, fixing people’s lives. I gave my main character, Holly Goodnight, some similar fanciful qualities.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading, A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s been interesting to read about her writing journey, her struggles, and her triumphs.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have written 26 books in a potpourri of genres. Some of my books have been one-act plays, books for kids, inspirational nonfiction, and gift books. But for the last seven years I’ve concentrated on inspirational novels for women, and this is where I want to stay as a writer. Well, that is, if readers keep buying my books.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?

I didn’t find the process difficult at all. Irene and I had fun tying our two stories together.

 How did collaborating with this team impact you?

As I mentioned, it all worked out well. Irene Brand is not only a good writer, but she’s also easy to get along with. So, with all her positive attributes, collaboration was a delightful experience.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes I spend a lot of time choosing my character’s names, especially the main character. In the case of this novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve, I came up with the name Holly Goodnight, and I think it fits the heroine perfectly. I hope readers think so too.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?

I want people to be uplifted by the story, of course, but my novella is also a romantic comedy, so I hope readers will be entertained too. I want them to walk away and think, “I really like that Holly Goodnight. Maybe I’ll invite her over for a Christmas brunch!”

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?

I joined ACFW some years ago, and it has been worth every penny of the membership fee. I have grown as a writer because of the valuable input I’ve received on their online loop as well as from the annual conferences.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?

Write what you know about and keep at it. That advice came to me decades ago from the famous playwright, Horton Foote.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

I’m at I would love for you to drop by. I have a book trailer on my site and a free ebook with Christmas thoughts, recipes, favorite family memories, and traditions. I hope you and your family have a joy-filled Christmas!

Thank you, Irene and Anita, for this holiday visit.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. New information: Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. I’m trying to get a good idea of where the people live who leave comments on my blog. (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 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.


Anonymous said...

Lena, thanks so much for posting information about our book and our bios on your blog. You have a very colorful blog. Anita and I learned to know each other very well during this experience, although we haven't met face-to-face. Our book has been well received, and I pray that it will be a blessing to others. Let me be the first to wish you a "Merry Christmas."

collettakay said...

Ahh! I love Christmas books!

I live in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.


Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Lena, for featuring Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe on your blog. My novella in the book, Once Upon A Christmas Eve, was a joy to write since I love all things Christmas!

Hugs from Anita Higman and Merry Christmas...a bit early.

Patsy said...

This book sounds really good. Love the cover! Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for giving away a copy.

I live in south Mississippi.


Anita Higman said...

Hi Patsy!

Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment about the book cover.
I agree. The publisher went all out to make the cover look curl-up-with-a-quilt cozy.

Hugs all the way to Mississippi!
Anita Higman

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book and I would love to win a copy.

Casey said...

THank you for the chance to read this book, it looks delightful. :)

Sue said...

Thank you for entering me, I appreciate the chance to read this book.

Anne Payne said...

Christmas books have a special sweetness about them. Enter me for these!
Anne, NC, USA

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'm not much of a Christmas fan. Maybe one of these books will get me into the spirit this year. :)
Ann Lee Miller

grannyvon said...

Great interviews and I love Christmas books, I would love Christmas books if it was July 4. Thanks for giving me the chance to win the books.

Claire Koenig said...

Would love a chance to read this. Sounds wonderfully refreshing! -- and I am in the San Francisco Bay Area.

holdenj said...

I just love holiday stories this time of year. And I just picked up an "old" Mary Stewart at the library sale last weekend. Winter is pretty long here in MN, and I like getting some seasonal stories under my belt before the long winter sets in! Thanks so much!

fredamans said...

I'm from Ontario Canada, and would love to read this Love Finds You book. I love the series!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the interest in the Mistletoe book!

I really love the comment about wanting to read Christmas books even it if were the 4th of July!

Anita Higman

Lourdes said...

I love the cover. Would love to win.


Jeanette Levellie said...

Thank you, Lena, Anita and Irene, for this excellent interview.

I'm always fascinated by how the Lord connects us with others to help spread His word, and what fun we have in the process!

I'd love to read Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe.

I live in Paris, Illinois, about four hours south of Chicago and and hour and a half due west of Indianapolis. We are in Amish country, and love seeing them in their buggies when we visit nearby towns to shop or eat out.



Jackie S. said...

Love Christmas books...please enter me. Thanks!!

cynthia said...

Thanks for the great interviews. Please enter me in the book drawing. I love reading Christmas stories. I live California.

Cindy W. said...

Oh I have wanted to read LFY Under the Mistletoe ever since the first review. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Cindy W.


Pam K. said...

This sounds like another book I would enjoy, mixing romance and comedy with Christmas. Please enter me in the book drawing.
Lindsborg, Kansas

rubynreba said...

I'd really enjoy this book. Thanks!

Linda Kish said...

I'd love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

A J Hawke said...

Sounds like a fun read.

Please include me in the giveaway.

A J Hawke

Norma said...

I love Christmas stories and have always enjoyed Irene Brand's books. I would love to win this one.

Bakersdozen said...

I enjoyed these interviews and I would love to read this. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! I would love to win a copy.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

lastnerve said...

I'm so into the Love Finds You books. I would love to read this book. Very good interview.

I live in SC


Anonymous said...

Thanks to all of you who are interested in our book. To "holdenj" - I noticed your comment about Mary Stewart. I have many of her books and still read them occasionally. I'll not check to see, but I re-read one of her's not long ago. I think it was "Wildfire at Midnight." I've been collecting books for years - I have a few thousand on my shelves - those are research, Bible reference books, as well as fiction.

And to Norma, I'm pleased to note that you've been enjoying my books for seveal years. It wouldn't be any fun to publish books, if we didn't have faithful readers.

To ALL of you who commented, I wish you a pleasant weekend. God bless you.
Irene Brand

Julia M. Reffner said...

Looks like a fun Christmas book. Please enter me.


scottsgal said...

I love reading feel good holiday stories - love the cover
msboatgal at

Edna said...

I would love these books, please enter me


cheryl c said...

I love Christmas stories. Every year I have a Christmas reading binge!

I am a Georgia girl!
castings at mindspring dot com

Carole said...

Anita is a new author to me, but I have enjoyed Irene's books already. This Christmas collection looks wonderful and I'm eager to curl up beside the fire in our wood stove and read it.

Irene, I read a lot of gothics back in the 70s - Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, etc. Mary Stewart was my favorite and I still read her books today. If you haven't read it, try Nine Coaches Waiting, my favorite.

I enjoyed the interview, Lena and Irene, and appreciate the chance to win this book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Irene and Anita, your books sound delightful. Who could resist Mistletoe and Noel? Lena, thanks for featuring these authors!

I'm from soon-to-be-snowy south-central Wisconsin.

Merry said...

I enjoyed Irene's inspirational quotes, I'm always on the lookout for quotes to motivate me. I do love romantic comedy, so I'm sure Anita's story will be fun. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!
Merry in NY

Robyn said...

Love, love, love the LFY series!!! I'm located in the midwest.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

kristen said...

Thanks for the interviews! Please enter me:)

Amber said...

I would love to have the chance to win this book...I can never have enough Christmas in my life! :) Thanks for entering me into the contest!

Rochester, NY


Anonymous said...

Sunday is always a busy day at our home, so I'll check in bright and early to wish all of you a blessed Lord's Day. I live in West Virginia (Eastern Time Zone)so I'm probably up earlier than some of you.
It's nice of all of you to want our book. If you haven't done so, be sure and access either my website or Anita's to read the free Christmas Card we prepared for you. Irene Brand

barbjan10 said...

Merry Christmas, everyone! It is soon upon us and I am glad that I won Anita's book "Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe" recently and have been saving it for Advent to read it in keeping with the Christmas spirit. The Novella sounds like a fun combination. I'd love to win this also to see what these two clever ladies have done with their collaborative work. Thanks for the giveaway and for the chance to win this festive book. I hope I do!

Joyous Noel,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Anita Higman said...


Thanks again for all the entries and comments surrounding Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe!

As Irene Brand mentioned, on our sites we have a free Christmas gift book to view, download, or email to a freind. This free book is full of family traditions, quotes, and cozy Christmas thoughts. Our websites are: &

Hugs from Anita Higman

misskallie2000 said...

I live in GA.
I love Christmas stories and read 2-3 new each yr and then reread my favorites.
I already love Irene's Love Finds You Under The Mistletoe and hoping I will be the lucky winner.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway Lena.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Connie Leonard said...

"Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe" sounds like a great book for reading and for gift giving. I would love to win one and purchase one.

Connie Leonard said...

"Love Finds You Underthe Mistletoe" looks like a great book for reading and gift giving. I would love to win one for myself and buy one for my Secret Prayer Pal.

wmmahaney said...

Christmas stories are some of my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all of you who posted messages, and also a great thank-you to Lena for hosting us. If you weren't the lucky winners, I will mention that Summerside Press books are available in Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, in fact most mall bookstores. They're also sold through Amazon and CBD, and in most Christian bookstores.
Anita and I have spent quite a lot of time in promoting our book. Now, perhaps WE can settle down and look forward to the Christmas season.
Irene Brand

Charlotte Kay said...

"Under the Mistletoe" for the holidays is the best setting I can think of!!
Thanks for the chance to win this book!
I am from the Buckeye State, Ohio:)