Wednesday, December 24, 2014

THE 20TH CHRISTMAS - Andrea Rodgers - One Free Book

Welcome, Andrea. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It's easier to write about characters who aren't like me, so that is what I prefer, however people who know me well have pointed out that there is a bit of myself in every character!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was in elementary school, they often had “Mr Rib on bun” for lunch. The first time I swallowed it, I coughed, but it came out sounding like a “moo...” you know, the sound a cow makes. So, from then on, whenever I ate one of those sandwiches, I moo'd ... and yes ... I still do!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I think I came into this world knowing! Before I could even read, I announced that someday I wanted to write books like those that my parents read to me. Once I started school, I wrote stories every day. I never changed my mind when someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up—writing has always been my passion.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read contemporary women's fiction, suspense, romance, chick-lit, biographies, self-help.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
If I didn't write, then I wouldn't keep my sanity! I'm a stay at home mom and I always feel behind and overwhelmed ... but when I write, all of that goes away. I get revitalized and have energy again. I have to make a conscious effort, though. If I don't schedule my writing time then it won't happen.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes they just come to me, other times I look at baby name websites!

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being a mother. I have a son and daughter so I feel like if I've done anything right in this world, it's having them! Even if I never accomplish anything else, it's okay because nothing could make me more proud than watching them grow up.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I took a quiz recently, ha ha, and it said swan because I'm idealistic, open-minded, and passionate. I don't know if that's really what a swan is like, but those traits do describe my personality!

What is your favorite food?
Nachos. Mexican food is my favorite type, I could probably have it every day!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Making the time! I'm not a writer who can write with a hundred interruptions and distractions. I've heard of authors who say they wrote books while bouncing their babies on their laps. Definitely not me. I need to zone out and write in peace—and then the words flow. The only reason I don't write a novel every month is because it's easy to tell myself that I should wait until all of my other responsibilities have been taken care of. The problem is, there is always something to do and so writing often gets put last. Having a book published is a great motivator—that writing is not a hobby but rather a job and so it's okay to make writing a priority even if that means my house is a disaster! I have two days a week that my daughter goes to preschool (my son is in first grade) and so those are my scheduled writing days.

Tell us about the featured book.
On the surface, the book is about a toddler boy who is kidnapped a few days before Christmas, but at its core this is a story about a marriage over time dealing with grief, overcoming bitterness and finding faith.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Chase? Where are you? Chase!
Panic filled Arianna Tate’s chest as she searched the small café for her toddler son. The two had spent the morning Christmas shopping at a mall in Des Moines, Iowa, until fatigue took over Arianna’s body and told her she must stop for a spiced latte on her way home.

She’d been holding her little boy’s gloved hand when they stood in line to order and had smiled at him as they sang along to “Silent Night” on the radio behind the counter. The store was decorated with strings of multi-colored lights and silver and gold tinsel. A Christmas tree with red and green glass balls stood next to a window while light snowflakes fell outside.

Arianna let go of Chase when it was time to pay. “Are you going out of town for the holiday?” the woman behind the cash register asked.

“Yes, we usually go to my parents’ place—a couple of hours away.”

“Well, stay safe—we’re expecting a bad snowstorm on Christmas night.”

After they chatted for another minute about the brutal winter weather in the Midwest, Arianna took the paper cup with one hand and reached out her other to meet Chase’s.

Instead, there was only air.

Arianna whipped around, hat falling from her head, and her gaze darted quickly to every corner of the café.

“Chase?” she called out as she paced the floor. The weight of a black wool coat made her move too slow.

An elderly man sat at a booth and looked up from reading the newspaper, but otherwise the place was empty.

Hadn’t there been a woman standing behind her in line? Where was she now? Had she seen where Chase had gone?

“Is everything okay?” the store clerk asked.

“I—I don’t know where my boy is. He was right here.”

Arianna ran to the employees’ entrance and frantically looked around the back of the store. The clerk followed.

“Don’t worry, ma’am, I’m sure he’s here somewhere; little kids love to hide.”

Scary. My two daughters and I went to Six Flags Over Texas when one was 5 and the other 7. I held the youngest daughter’s hand and told the older one to hold her sister's other one and not let go. We made our way through the crowd, and soon only one daughter was beside me. I know that terror. Praise the Lord, we found her within the longest half hour of my life. 

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please like my Facebook page at, become a fan of Pinterest at or visit my website at Thank you so much!

Thank you for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers will want to read it. 

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The 20th Christmas -
The 20th Christmas - Amazon
The 20th Christmas - Kindle

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 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:


Deanna Stevens said...

I do like Christmas stories & this looks like a good one ! !
dk Stevens, NEBR..

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Lena, I enjoyed the interview with Andrea. "The 20th Christmas" sounds awesome! :)

Caryl in TEXAS

LiteOfTheNite said...

Thanks for the post, Lena. It looks like a great book. :) By the way, I've nominated you. If you're interested, check it out.

Linda Kish said...

My son had a harness until he learned to take it off. He was far too hyperactive to not have one. I would have lost him constantly. This sounds like a really good story. I'd love to read it.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

Christmas stories are some of the best! I love this cover! Merry Christmas, Lena, and may you and your have a healthy and happy 2015,

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

Sounds wonderful thank you.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

I love Christmas stories and would love to win Andrea's. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

apple blossom said...

This sounds interesting. I love Christmas stories. Merry Christmas Day to you
I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sm said...

I cannot imagine Christmas without my young child! Kidnapping is beyond my brain as to how I would react to it! Love to win and read your book. Sm CA. wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Andrea Rodgers said...

Lena, thank you so much for having me here! I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas! I appreciate all of your comments! I will be excited to see who wins the free copy :)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Jackie Tessnair said...

This book sounds great.I have got to put this one on my TRL.Thanks for sharing.Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

kam110476 said...

Gracious! My heart is going 90 to nothin' just thinking about losing a kiddo like that! Now I know why my mom would get so mad at me when I'd go hide in the center of the clothes racks at the mall when I was little - it's a frightening thought! Thanks for the chance to win a copy Andrea & Lena!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Andrea Rodgers said...

So nice "meeting" all of you!

susanlulu said...

Sounds like it would be a great book to snuggle up with - and hug your child!
Susan in NC

Andrea Rodgers said...

Congrats to Caryl!