Sunday, September 25, 2011

LOVE FINDS YOU ON CHRISTMAS MORNING - Debby Mayne and Trish Perry - Free book

I'm thrilled to have two of my favorite people on the blog today. Welcome, Debby and Trish. How did your story for the collection come about?

Debby: Trish and I wanted to write a generational anthology for Summerside, so we brainstormed ideas. North Carolina is such a beautiful state with a rich history and people who love to share what they know, making the research fun and interesting. After we presented the idea to Summerside through our agent Tamela Hancock Murray, we expected to have to wait at least a year to hear back. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that what we proposed was exactly what our editor was looking for.

Trish: Yes, it was such a blessing the way that all played out. And Debby was the one who came up with the setting. She visited Cary, NC and sent me pictures so we could both have a good feel for where our stories took place.

Are these stories connected in some way? If so, how?

Debby: There are several connections. Trish’s heroine is related to mine, the family home plays an important part in both stories, and an important event happens on Christmas morning.

Trish: One fun connection came about without our planning it. Both of our heroes turned to our heroines for help in decorating and furnishing the family home. So the creative bent trickled down through the generations without our even thinking about it.

What are you reading right now?

Debby: I just finished The Help, and now I’m reading Kristin Billerbeck’s A Billion Reasons Why. These books are very different, but I love both of them.

Trish: Oh, I loved The Help. I just finished Dan Walsh’s shipwreck novel, The Deepest Waters, and am now reading one of Wanda Dyson’s older novels, Shepherd’s Fall (a suspense novel). As Debby says, both books differ quite a bit from each other, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading them!

I don't read a lot of fiction that's not published by Christian publishers, but I did read The Help. I found it very interesting. I actually lived through that time. How many other books have you had published?

Debby: I’ve had more than 30 books and novellas published, with 3 more books coming out in 2013.

Trish: I have nowhere near the experience Debby does! I’ve published nine romances, most of which have a thread of comedy running throughout them.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a collection?
Debby: Working on a collection isn’t hard, as long as both people are willing to share and accept ideas from each other. This was a joy to do with Trish.

Trish: Ditto! I think it would be far more difficult to write a single novel with another writer, just because I can’t imagine trying to work the logistics out. But a collection of separate but connected novels can be great fun, as this was. I’m ready to write more of these!

How did collaborating with this team impact you?

Debby: Trish and I were already friends, so it gave us the opportunity (and excuse) to chat even more.

Trish: Yes, Debby and I have actually pitched ideas for a few more collaborative efforts. I hope one or more of them will come to fruition someday!

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

Debby: My story, “Deck the Halls” set in 1926, is about a wealthy farmer falling in love with a woman from the “wrong side of the tracks.” I want readers to enjoy going on a journey with these people as they both realize nothing is as it seems, and they have more in common than they initially realize.

Trish: My story, “’Tis the Season,” is contemporary, about a young woman who accepts a lucrative job as personal chef to an eccentric billionaire back in her hometown, hoping to buy back the family home she so loves. She loses that opportunity when the house is sold to the one man who has also managed to steal her heart. Besides feeling entertained, I hope my readers get a good grasp of how important emotional transparency can be in relationships, if you want them to be healthy and loving.

Please give us a peek into your story.

Deck the Halls

Cary, NC, Fall 1926

Lillian Pickard shifted from one foot to the other to take some of the load off her aching feet. There always seemed to be one customer who lingered at the end of the long day, keeping Lillian from locking up Joachim’s Five and Dime and going home. She took a couple of deep breaths and tried to remain pleasant as Mrs. Gooch carried her handheld basket of odds and ends to the counter.

            Lillian rang up the woman’s selections and bagged all the items then handed them to her. “Have a nice evening, Mrs. Gooch. See you again soon.”

            “You are a mighty sweet girl,” Mrs. Gooch said as she took her bag. “It’s a shame you have to work such long hours. Give my regards to your mama.”

            “I will.”

            As soon as Mrs. Gooch made her exit, Lillian scurried to the door and locked it, just in case anyone had the notion to walk in. She counted the money in the cash drawer, tucked it inside the deposit envelope, and slid the envelope into the slot on the side of the safe.

            Finally she was ready to leave for home. The tiny house she shared with her parents was less than a half mile away, but on evenings like this, it might as well have been ten miles. Her feet throbbed and her mind raced over all the things she still needed to do when she got home.

            Her daddy’s factory injury five years ago had rendered him incapable of working most of the jobs he was qualified for. He’d needed Lillian’s mama nearby to take care of him in the earlier days, so it had been up to Lillian to support the family. She didn’t mind at first, but as time went on, it became painfully obvious that her lot in life wasn’t what she’d always wanted.

            The first raindrop plopped smack-dab in the middle of her head as she crossed the road. Lillian groaned. As if her situation weren’t already bad enough…

            She heard the rumble of an automobile coming toward her, so she jumped back, closer to the building. She turned to see which of the rich people were out riding around. There weren’t many automobiles in Cary, North Carolina, and it was after business hours, so Lillian assumed it was someone showing off.

            The automobile pulled to a stop, and the man driving it leaned over and cranked down the window. “Hey, gorgeous! Need a ride?”

            Thank the Lord the sun wasn’t shining or William Tronnier would see the redness of her flaming cheeks. “Mr. Tronnier!” But before she had a chance to say anything else, the occasional raindrop progressed to a steady downpour. “I always walk home from work, but thank you for the offer.”

            He laughed. “You shouldn’t have to walk in the rain when I have this perfectly fine automobile. Get in before you drown.”

            She only hesitated for a few seconds before deciding that taking him up on his offer was much better than getting drenched. As she stepped up into the automobile, her ankle wobbled.

            “Whoa there, Miss Pickard.” He leaned across the seat, opened the car door from the inside, and reached for her hand, which she gave without a second’s hesitation. He pulled her up to the seat and quickly let go.

# # # # # #

‘Tis the Season

(Early March, Modern Day)

“Have I ever told you why I stole you away from Armand, Nikki?”

            Nicole Tronnier dusted a trace of flour off the tip of her nose and gave old Mr. Fennicle a smile. “Of course you have, Harvey. I amazed you with my culinary prowess and sparkling personality.”

She placed a basket of warm rosemary biscuits near his plate. The pumpkin-potato puree and veggie medley looked perfect next to his rack of lamb, if she did say so herself. The rich winter colors were almost as important to her as the fragrance and taste of the food she served. “If anyone deserves the very best personal chef in North Carolina, it’s an absolutely spoiled multi-millionaire like you.”

She saw him fight against the twitch of a smile.

“I resent your insinuation about me, young lady.”

“I call ’em as I see ’em, Harvey.”

“I’m an absolutely spoiled billionaire, at the very least. And that’s not why I lured you away. I’ve always been very fond of Armand and his fine restaurant. It’s one of the reasons I opened a plant in Charlotte, so I could visit him and still make money. Pilfering his star chef gave me no pleasure, and I could have found an equally gifted chef elsewhere, I’m certain.”

“But?” She crossed her arms. She adored this old man and had taken so little time to settle into her fond banter with him once she joined the staff in his spacious Cary, North Carolina, mansion almost a year ago.

He closed his eyes and swallowed his bite of lamb, ecstasy in his expression. “Perfect.” He breathed a satisfied sigh. “But I saw you do something that put you over the top, in my book. I don’t suppose you even know what that was.”

“I gave you an extra large slice of my mango-coconut terrine for dessert. Was that it?”

“Didn’t hurt, but no. Do you remember that odd fellow who made off with a dish full of food the day I met you?”

She frowned. “Odd fellow. No. What do you mean he made off with—oh, you mean the homeless guy in the fake waiter suit.” She chuckled at the memory.

“I was outside in my limo when that happened,” Harvey said. “I hadn’t yet entered the restaurant and was on the phone with one of my more boring advisors. I saw that fellow rush out of the restaurant, glancing back, forth, and behind. He was protecting that plate of food as if eagles would swoop down and carry it off.”

“Poor guy,” Nikki said. “I think he just wandered in off the street, fully intending to beg from our customers or from the restaurant, I don’t know for sure. But he was in that old black suit, and a customer handed her dish to him to bring back to the kitchen for reheating or something. She thought he was a waiter. And he thought he hit the jackpot.”

Harvey laughed. “When you stormed out the front door after him and nearly tripped over him, sitting there—”

“You never told me you saw all that, Harvey!”

“I did indeed.”

“Yeah, I remember it now. It was just like you said. He was so hungry he didn’t even run beyond the front stoop. Broke my heart.” She shrugged. “I had to redo the customer’s order anyway. No sense in wasting food.”

“I saw you pat his head, Nikki. Not only did you let him eat, you weren’t afraid to touch him.”

She sighed. “And that’s why you hired me?”

He focused on cutting his lamb. “Says a lot about a person, the things they’ll do when they think no one else is watching. If I’m going to have someone join my live-in staff, I want to make sure she’s made of the right stuff, not just able to make the right stuff.”

“Yep.” She nodded. “I’m pretty special all right.”

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

Debby: Don’t give up and don’t take anything personally—the good or the bad.

Trish: Write the stories God gives you—don’t chase the market, because the pendulum is constantly in motion.

I can hardly wait for my book to come. Where can my readers find you on the Internet?   (I’m working on revamping my blog, and it should be ready sometime this fall.)   (I’m on Facebook as Trish Hawley Perry and on Twitter as TrishPerryWrtr, and I’m always up for more friends!)

Thank you, Debby and Trish, for the fun interview.

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. 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.


Mark said...

I'd like to enter. Ohio

Lorna Faith said...

Thanks for have Debby and Trish on your blog Lena:) Love both your books! This new 'venture' together sounds like a great book just in time for Christmas:)
I would love to be entered for a chance to win.

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Jo said...

Sounds interesting. I'd love to enter.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Wendy Newcomb said...

Would really like to read this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

I live in central Florida.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

fredamans said...

I love the Love Finds You books, especially interested in this one due to the Christmas theme. Please enter this gal from Ontario, Canada. Thanks!

scottsgal said...

I absolutely love reading holiday stories - I know I'd enjoy this one

cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Rebecca said...

I would love to win this. This sounds great.

I am from Oklahoma.

Patsy said...

This book sounds really good - I know it will be with authors like Debby and Trish. Would love to read it.

from South Mississippi


Pam K. said...

Thanks for the interviews with Debby and Trish and the excerpts from their stories. I wanted to keep on reading! I'd be happy to win a copy of "Love Finds You on Christmas Morning."


Judy said...

Would love to win a copy of "Love Finds You On Christmas Morning". Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Debby and Trish are both great authors!


Judy B from Indiana

Coolestmommy said...

LFY books are some of my favorites...and Christmas is my favorite season. Sounds like this book is an all around winner for me!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

i would love to win this book. thank you for the chance

angela and allie from ky

Cindy W. said...

Oh, I love Christmas and books about Christmas. Would love to win a copy of LFY on Christmas Morning. Thank you for the opportunity.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Maggie Carr said...

I love Summerside Press!

Northern Indiana

cheryl c said...

Every Christmas season I read lots of Christmas stories. I have already started my TBR pile, so I would love to add this book to the pile! :-)

Cheryl from GA

Diana Flowers said...

I am starting my Christmas collection to read by the fireplace when it's cold! Would love to win this one to add to that collection! Thank you!

Diana from SC


apple blossom said...

Love LFY books and I love Christmas books so this would be a wonderful book to win thanks for the chance. I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Patty said...

I love the idea of connecting two stories from different eras!

Patty in SC

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting book. I would Love to read it. Please enter me Joanna Richmond,
Blanch, NC.

Darlene said...

Would love to win this, thanks!
Darlene NC

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
I love Christmas!
Please enter me in the drawing,would love to win.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Miss Mona said...

Both these stories sound great....and I still haven't read the book or seen the movies "THE HELP",my sister saw it and said it was a great movie.....would love to win this book....Thanks, Ms. Mona/Oh

Abigail Mitchell said...

Sounds very interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. My family and I went to a church in Cary for awhile, It was called College Park Baptist Church, We now go to a really good church in Eden.
Thanks for the chance to win!
God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

It looks very interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
God Bless!
Sarah Richmond

EJ said...

Wow - a book by 2 authors that I love to read their books, plus my favorite holiday - Christmas. Please enter me! Thank you - Elaine from Iowa

Courtney said...

Sounds really good, I'd love to be entered in the contest! Thanks!

Courtney from WA state

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds like a great story! I love reading and would love to win this book. Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

rubynreba said...

Beautiful cover. I'm from Iowa and would enjoy this book.

peachykath said...

I have read Trish Perry's books and love them. It would be nice to read something from a new author too. Please enter me in the drawing for this book.
Thank you

Katherine from Northern California


Merry said...

Both of the stories in LFY on Christmas Morning sound like something I will love. It's fun to share the same setting but in different time periods.
Merry in TX

Kristie said...

I love Christmas books!!! Especially happy ones. I don't usually read collaborative books of novellas but for this I think I will make an exceptions. Sounds wonderful! I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.