Friday, February 03, 2017


Welcome, Tanya. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Not enough. I think if I explored my own fears in a deeper manner, really touched the deep fears and struggles, readers would recognize the feelings more. But I think I’ve been afraid to tackle my own fears and put them on the page.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmmm. Quirky. My friends might say everything I do is quirky. Well … when my children were little, one night a week we stopped at our local fast food place for dinner after our non-stop run from practice to practice. This particular fast food location had classic paintings in frames and I fell in love with one. The picture had a moonlit bay with a sailing ship and fisherman and their wives gathering nets. Beautiful. I wanted it. So I asked the manager who painted it or where it came from. He couldn’t find out so I asked if I could buy another print and trade it out. So … one busy lunch day with a packed house, my husband brought his tools in, took down the painting and traded it out. Of course everyone stared and my husband shook his head the whole time muttering, “I sure love you.”

That print sat on my wall for twenty years and now, since I’ve downsized to a motorhome, it sits on my son’s wall. He’s a writer like me and unusual things tickle his imagination like mine.

I love that story. When did you first discover you were a writer?
I was eleven years old. My favorite television show didn’t end the way I thought it should so I sat down and wrote a book with the ending I wanted.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read everything but right now, I’m focused on historical mysteries. I love to read about history and how they solved crimes before forensic science.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who said I was sane? I have four children and twenty-one grandchildren. I run as hard and as fast as everyone else. But while I run, I try to remember Saint Francis’ words. “Preach the Gospel daily and when necessary use words.”

That’s a wonderful quote. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes, they just appear in my head. Other times, I look them up on the Internet baby name sites. Recently I needed some Scandinavian names so off I went to a site that featured European names and their meanings.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
When my family gets together we go to church together. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to look down the pews and see all my children and grandchildren in church. Quite an accomplishment for a former atheist.

That is so cool. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A panther. Even though I’m allergic to cats, I still have an affinity for them. I think panthers are sleek, cool and strong.

What is your favorite food?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I have a theory. Writers are either storytellers or wordcrafters. A lucky few are both but I’m most definitely a storyteller so I get dragged down with the “how to’s.” How do I get my story across? What words? How do I shape the sentences? I’m most definitely not a wordcrafter and I work on it constantly.

Tell us about the featured book.
My good friends Mary Manners, Marianne Evans, and Delia Latham and I wrote a novella series called Hearts Haven for our publisher years back. We loved the process so much, we did four collections in the series. We decided we’d like to do another but this time we decided to self-publish. It’s called Love at Christmas Inn Collection.  Four novellas in one boxed set. The family name is Christmas so they keep a Christmas theme year round at their inn. We plan to do at least two more collections in the series. 

Please give us the first page of the book.
The first novella in the boxed set is my contribution. It’s called Christmas Bells are Ringing. Here is the first page:
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. ~Deuteronomy 8:2 (NIV)~

The Tennessee countryside rolled out before Ariana Christmas as the highway topped the crest of a small hill, providing a stunning view of Hope Creek. Early October, and the trees had turned. Bright orange, russet and golden leaves created an amazing patchwork of colors on the panorama below.

Beautiful. Even if it was in the back of beyond. She tamped down on the anger and resentment that threatened to raise ugly heads again. Those emotions were useless. When her father first sentenced her to this imprisonment she’d tried sarcasm, rage and finally tears. All to no avail. He’d cancelled her credit cards and her phone account. He’d even taken away her lovely little sports car with its leather interior and told her she had to earn her own way. Her ailing Aunt Lizzie needed help. Ari’s new job was to take care of Lizzie, and oh, by the way, oversee the renovations of the family’s historic Christmas Inn.

So not fair. What did Ari know about running an inn? OK, so she did have a master’s degree in hotel management. But she’d never worked a day in her life. She didn’t need to. Her older brother Ian took his place beside their dad to manage their hotel empire long before Ari left school. Ian was a natural leader and a great asset to the business. Unlike her.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My Twitter handle: @TanyaStowe1

Thank you, Tanya, for sharing this new book with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Love at Christmas Inn: Collection I

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.

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scottsgal said...

I love the premise of these novellas. Thanks for the nice interview

Cheryl in IL

Tanya Stowe said...

Thank you, Cheryl. It was so much fun! I know part of that is because they other ladies are brilliant writers and inspired me! Lol. Thanks for the comment.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to add these wonderful stories to my book collection. Thanks for the chance.

Linda in So Cal

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Tanya Stowe said...

Hi Linda in So Cal. I'm a So Cal girl too! Thanks for participating.

Vera Godley said...

There is something special about novellas about Christmas time and having the last name of "Christmas" would really be interesting.

Vera in North Carolina

Karen Hadley said...

I love Christmas! Thank you! Karen from Oklahoma!

apple blossom said...

oh, chirstmas is coming. I love Christmas books thanks for the chance to win
live in ND

Connie said...

I never tire of books with Christmas themes. Thanks for this interview and giveaway.
Connie from KY

Susan Johnson said...

Keeping Christmas up year round would be interesting. I love books about Christmas and would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance
Susan in Odessa, TX

Abigail Mitchell said...

Theses look great! Thanks for the chance to win.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Abigail from VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

rubynreba said...

Christmas books are always enjoyable!
Beth from IA

Tanya Stowe said...

We LOVED the theme of Christmas all year round and plan to do many more at different times. I think you all agree so stay tuned! Thanks so much for commenting!

Lourdes said...

Great giveaway would love to win, love Christmas themed books.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY