Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Five with Meghan Gorecki

Happy New Year, y'all! What is your tradition? Now that our children are 8 and 11 we'll be ringing in 2017 with soda, munchies, and a night of family games. Do you stay up? Party? Sleep?

THRILLED to have Meghan Gorecki here to ring in the New Year with us! Meghan is an awesome Alley pal who has lots going on in her writing life. I know you'll enjoy hearing from her! And be sure to check out her blog!

Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction, a blogger, book reviewer and voracious reader. Taking her life a day at a time as God leads, she is pursuing a career in the publishing industry as an editor in training and as a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. A hopeless romantic, history and Marvel nut, she's also a redhead (thanks to a box), who knows way too much trivia about movie musicals and the Civil War. Find her on social media and at her blog, A Northern Belle (


1) Meghan, what genres do you write in?

I write historical and contemporary romance...thus far. ;) The latter being one I honestly didn't think I'd ever actually publish, but here we are!

So excited for you, girl!

2) Do you have a favorite New Year's tradition? Any exciting plans this year?

A favorite New Year's tradition! Great question...*think think think think* Probably choosing a One Word for the upcoming year. Though this year I have not a clue what it will be. This New Years my family and I will be hosting an enormous open house from around 8pm where there will be way too much food, fun, laughter--and a hockey game on the TV. LOL Happy, crowded-house chaos with our friends.

Love picking the one word! I haven't decided mine yet either. Sounds like a great evening you have planned!

3) Do you make resolutions? Specific writing goals for the year?

I write a few personal goals down that may count as "resolutions" but for this pantser-writer right here--no hard and fast lengthy list of true resolutions. I do however definitely map out writing goals--though if tradition holds true, God will take something and snowball it into something totally unplanned.

Don't you love how he does that?!

4) Favorite party food? Too many choices to pick from! I think perhaps buffalo chicken dip. Or my mom's homemade stove-popped popcorn with real melted butter and parmesan cheese. Yep. Those two. Tied for Favorite.

Yum! Great choices! Popcorn with melted butter if my favorite, too.

5) Can you tell us about your holiday novella? What inspired you to write this story and how do we pick it up?

5) My holiday novella, Wrapped in Red, is a Christmas tale from my heart. Largely inspired by real life events--and my family, this story began snowballing into existence this time last year but only in late October of this year was when God really plunked it in my lap and said, "Here. Use this." While I do not yet have my own hero like Sam Shepard, the dating woes and lovably meddlesome family have been my life this year, which was incredibly fun to write. And I got to pay not-so-subtle but delightful homage to my family, our food traditions--and this grand city I claim as my hometown: Pittsburgh. Getting to literally go downtown to the winter garden, Christmas market and hear all the old stories from my dad who used to work down there, and spend some holly-jolly time with my family? All in the name of book research?
Absolutely priceless.

Little tidbit: the story ends on New Years Eve near the stroke of midnight--which is tomorrow! So there's still time to enjoy the holiday season and pick up a copy in the Kindle store here for just a dollar, or if you're old-fashioned like me and prefer a real copy you can hold in your hands, you can grab a paperback copy here.
About Wrapped in Red:
A Steel City holiday romance sure to melt your heart.

The holidays haven't been the easiest for Merry Grainger. Five years ago, she lost her grandfather and got dumped by her boyfriend right before Christmas. Each season since sees her determined to avoid getting hurt again, and so she keeps a steel-like grip on her hopeless romantic heart.

Music used to soothe Sam Shepard’s soul until the death of his biggest cheerleader broke his heart, family, and dreams into pieces. Now he’s focused on thriving in the city, and with the people, he’s grown to love—all to keep the hole in his heart from opening anew with every passing holiday season.

Thrown together by a church play and meddlesome family armed with mistletoe, will Merry and Sam unwrap their guarded hearts to let in the true hope of Christmas—and each other?

Thanks so much, can't wait to read this, Meghan!


WINNER: Our Friday Five guest happens to also be the winner of her choice of book by Pepper Basham. MEGHAN GORECKI, please email with your mailing address and we'll get that out to you!!!

KAREN SCHRAVEMADE is releasing her DREAMS BY DESIGN PLANNER. This would be a great tool to help writers get organized in the new year. It has a place for daily to-dos and long-term goals and includes a daily space for your word count. This project also helps support Amazima ministries in Uganda.


So...growing up in upstate NY, I agree, Buffalo dip is a must for New Year's celebrations. Anchor Bar, the originator of Buffalo wings uses Frank's hot sauce and here is my favorite recipe. I use shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup) and also still use the crumbled blue cheese.

BUFFALO WING DIP (taken from Frank's website)


  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup FRANK'S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S RedHot® Buffalo Wings Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese or your favorite shredded cheese


PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE all ingredients and spoon into shallow 1-quart baking dish.
BAKE 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired. Serve with crackers and/or vegetables.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! What are your writing goals?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Year in Review



I mean, really. Wow.

At the end of a year, it's super natural to take a moment to stop and look back. Things can look a little different in hindsight, ya know? Sometimes we don't even really know what's going on until we're looking at it from the future.

So I usually like to stop and take just a few moments to gaze at the year in review.

Writing wise, we at the alley have had a pretty stellar year.

Pepper has published THREE books this year, The Thorn Keeper, The Thorn Healer, and A Twist of Faith.

Laurie received her FIRST book contract for her book, With No Reservations, which is available for pre-order!

Cara received a contract from Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson for Beyond Justice, which is also available for pre-order!

Angie received FIRST AND SECOND book contract from Barbour and Love Inspired, both set to release fall, 2017.

Amy published her SECOND novel, From Winter's Ashes, over the summer!

And Krista (me....) indie published two novellas, A Side of Love and A (sorta) Southern Serenade this year, and signed a contract with Barbour for The Engagement Plot, a full-length contemporary romance releasing November 2017.

I don't think that's too shabby for one year!!

We've also made a big change on the alley, going from 5 days a week posting to 3, and added FUN FRIDAY to the mix. And our writing schedules have cheered this change-up wildly!

We got the chance to have the BIGGEST alleycat turnout EVER at ACFW this year, and were able to meet with and glean some amazing wisdom from Allen Arnold, someone who has been a guest here several times! 

Oh, and let's not forget our newest ALLEY KITTEN edition that arrived in 2016 in the form of sweet Charlie, Karen's newest arrival!

But even as I rejoice at all this AMAZING STUFF, I remember that it hasn't all been roses and sunshine. Many of us have struggled with rejections, depression, feelings of defeat as we look at the market, frustrating sales numbers, and a climate in the writing community that can be a little wearisome at time. (okay, fine, a LOT wearisome.) This writing journey has a lot of pitfalls and frustrations, to be sure. Ignoring it helps no one. It's there. It happens. It's part of the journey.

A few weeks ago, I was reading the beattitudes in a women's Bible study I'm in, and this reminded me of those. Blessed are those who mourn, who are poor in spirit, who are humble... It's a good reminder that even as we wrap our head around the bad that happened, we can know that God can and will use those things...those feelings of mourning that rejection, the stinging editor comment that definitely was humbling, those times where our spirit just felt defeated... He will use all those things to strengthen us and bless us. In our weakness is where God's strength is needed and showcased most.

So, while I won't sit here and list every hurt or rejection or frustration we've dealt with this year (the list would be WAY too long for a blog post) I encourage you, dear fellow writer on the journey, to take stock of yours. Not to wallow, but as a reminder that God is bigger than our disappointments. That God has brought and/or is bringing you through them into a place where you will be stronger, more connected with Jesus, and closer to the path he has for you.

And then look forward into next year, because that's where God is REALLY gonna shine. Because, while we can learn from the past, that only works if we don't stay there, if we use those things we learned to press onward toward the future.

Let's chat!

What about you? DO you have some 2016 highlights or lowlights to share? What have you learned from this year that you can take forward into the coming year?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

So You're on Vacation. Guess What Trouble Your Characters Are Causing...

There have been a decent supply of movies about authors/writers the last couple of years. I must admit, I enjoy watching some of them. A new-to-me movie popped up in my Netflix list recently. It was hilarious and spawned the idea for this post. (True Memoirs of an International Assassin)

The topic is so perfect for this week between Christmas and New Years.

I mean, here you are, Ms or Mr. Author, enjoying the fat of the land, cookies, candies, Christmas dinner, etc. Admit it, the scales went up a pound or two.

You've laughed with your friends and family by phone, social media, at church, in your home, or at parties. 

You've opened some pretty awesome gifts and watched others open ones you've given.

Yeah. You've had a wonderful time.

Uh huh.

So, You've barely thought about your characters, eh?

And what are your characters doing while you're away? You know the saying...while the author is away, the characters will play.

They saw you when you put in your passcodes to your programs.

They know when you're asleep.

They know if you've been bad or good

And so they've taken liberties to -- 

Wait, MC just sent this text: 

MC: Sorry, Author, I have to leave. I can't sit around another minute. Don't worry, I've come up with a great replacement. She's a bit dorky and hasn't brushed her teeth in a week, but I'm sure you can fix her up. 

Your phone dings the message and you panic first then send this reply:
Author: You can't leave. Please. I have your whole journey planned out. Ups. Downs. Crises. That kiss you've always dreamed of. Remember the kiss? I could write it in sooner if you'll only stay.

MC: No way. You've teased me long enough. And what about the days before Christmas when you left us to go present shopping and now New Years is four days away? Four whole days? You think I want to just sit on this page with nothing to do while you have fun?  Uh, no. Me and Vil, yeah, I found out about him. He isn't so bad. He came up with a great mutiny idea. One for the whole cast. We are taking our own vacation, away from you. Maybe Miami. Or Italy. Someplace warm.

Author: What if I buy everyone pizza, will you stay?

MC: Vil says you're a Scrooge. 

Author: Scrooge, eh? I could change. I have you on my schedule for, let's see, tomorrow.

MC: You...change? Right. The one who goes crazy with the power of the pen? Ha! Tell you what, you meet with The Three Friends, first. Each will pop in at your holiday party at one hour intervals. If you pass the test, we'll consider coming back.

Author: Who are these three friends?

MC: Have you ever, even once, told me something in advance? I don't think so. You'll know them when you see them. The first will show up when the bell tolls one.

Author: But I go to bed at ten.

MC: One.

MC doesn't respond to any more of your messages. You panic. Stay away from the filet mignon, mustard, and cheese served for dinner. Insure the potato is fully cooked. And you laugh at anything to avoid grave topics. No matter what you do to remain calm, the marrow in your bones tremble because you know MC and the rest of the cast could really leave.

You wildly search for something to keep you awake and remain standing at the party. The coffee can is empty. You rummage through the kitchen, under the Christmas tree, in the secret snack drawer. On chocolate, on Mountain Dew, on energy drink, on tea, on hot chocolate, on caffeine all. But alas, they have dashed away, dashed away, dashed away all.

You start at the sound of the first bell. There, on the other side of the room is a stranger. He flows through the crowd as though as they're invisible. His eyes fix on yours. 

Author: Wh-wh-who are you?

Unknown First Friend: I am the Disaster Rejection Friend. At this very moment all the disasters you've planned for your characters past, present, and future are actively being prevented. Extra feet are added to cliffs to prevent falling. Remedies seasoned with poisons. Bullets impenetrable. Fires snuffed. You name it. The disaster is thwarted.

Author: But if you do that my MC won't have any problems.

Disaster Rejection Friend: Yeah. So?

Author: The story will be boring.

Disaster: Precisely. Like you weren't boring your characters by taking a vacation?

Author: I said I'm sorry to MC. I promised I'd changed. Leave notes, flowers, chocolates. 

Disaster: Yeah, well, MC doesn't believe you. 

Just like that Disaster Rejection Friend fades into thin air. In his place Resolution Allergy Friend appears. 

Author: Let me guess. MC will never find a resolution to her problem if you stay.

Resolution Allergy: Yep.

Author: Got it. I'll talk with her first thing in the morning.

Resolution Allergy: No. You can't give in that easy. I'm melting. Melting. Melting.

Never had anything disappeared that fast. Not in all of time. Sadly, Author knew all the wishes and dreams could not keep the third friend away. 

Nothing could be that easy. And it wasn't. For before his very eyes did appear Rabbit Hole Infestation Friend and a herd of bunnies. Thousands. Maybe millions. Author looked to the left and the right. Rabbit trails in both directions. Author looked in front and behind. More rabbit trails. The more Author looked, the more rabbit trails appeared.

Author: No, Friend! Oh no no! I will honor my characters with my time. I will not abandon MC to blank pages for days. I will not shut out the lessons that the three friends have shown me this evening. Oh tell me I may sponge away the legion of rabbit trails before me.

In author's agony, Author clutches the cell phone. It dissolves in form becoming the writing laptop.

Author swooped up the laptop and squeezed it. The Three Friends had done everything in one night!

Author was so fluttering and glowing with good intentions that scarcely a word could be heard.

Except by MC. 

Before Author's eyes MC and the cast appear.

To live.

And struggle yet another day.

And so Alley Cat pals, friends, and neighbors, What have your characters been doing while you festived your Christmas time? (and yes, I have created the verb, festived. Because I am a writer. I get to do that.)

I can't wait to read your comment(s)!

Help others--tweet or FB share this post

Mary Vee -  Rock climbing, white-water rafting, zip lining, and hiking top Mary's list of great ways to enjoy a day. These activities require lots of traveling, which is also tops on her list. For some crazy reason, the characters in Mary’s young adult mystery/suspense fiction stories don’t always appreciate the dangerous and often scary side of her favorite activities. Unbelievable.

Mary studies marketing and writing skills, and pens missionary and retellings of Bible stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has been a finalist in several writing contests.

Visit Mary at her websiteblog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

All subscribers to Mary's newsletter will receive her novella, an intriguing suspense/mystery. Come, read a good story. To get your free gift, sign up for the newsletter at Mary's website  Never Give Up Stories. Join the adventure!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Little Bit of Alley Cat Fun + A Christmas Giveaway!

It's Christmas on The Writer's Alley!!
First: the business...

Did you catch Laurie's post about Creative Nonfiction? You really should. Go read it here. 

Cara Putman's Christmas novella collection with Tricia Goyer and Sarah Sundin: Where Treetops Glisten is currently $1.99! Grab it while you can (but be sure to double check the price before buying. Though I promise it's worth it!)

And NOW, for the fun!

It’s no small secret that Pepper Basham and I (Casey) are dear friends with a sisterhood that I just wouldn’t want to live without. You also probably know (or maybe not) that Pepper was one of our founding members of the Writer’s Alley. Don’t tell her this, but we all kind of look up to her as our “blog mom” here amongst the Alley Cats. Our fearless leader! When it came time for our Friday fun post, we decided, what could be more fun than a quirky interview brought to you by us truly?? So, here’s a peak into what our conversations look like through IM and text. ;-) Oh! And read to the end and answer the secret question hidden in the MIDDLE of this interview, in the comments and you’ll be entered to win one of Pepper’s books—of your choice!

Casey: What was the last question you asked Siri?

Pepper: HAHA! You do realize I call my "Siri" Mr. Knightley, right? AND he has a male British accent.  (Casey interjecting: oops, sorry Mr. Knightly. I hope I didn’t offend)

Along those lines, I think I asked him to send a text for me and then I 'thanked' him (to which my son, who was listening, said "Mom, you're polite to your phone." My answer, "That's why he doesn't mess up on me very much."

Pepper: So my dear sweet sis, we've known each other a long time - I think we met in person in 2011 at ACFW, but there's one question I've never asked you. Do you talk to imaginary friends or do you reserve those unique conversations for Siri? :-)

Casey: I actually do not! I will sit and think about my imaginary friends. And I’m sure that they sit and think about me, but I actually do not hold conversations with them. I’m a boring writer, I know. But if I ever need a partner in crime to help me argue them into submission, I’ll ask you first, Pep!

Casey: What is your must-have holiday treat?

Pepper: I don't have a specific Christmas treat I eat. We make Preacher Cookies more often during Christmas and OF COURSE I'll make The Dark Knight Chocolate Torte - because I have extra time to cook during this time of year. What about you, Casey? What's your holiday must-have?

Casey: Toffee. Loads and loads of toffee. I am making four batches this year and only have barely ruined one—but it was saved by the grace of God. Literally. (I don’t kid about the grace of God.) But I have to give ALL THE TOFFEE away, because if I keep even a piece of it I can’t stay out. It’s my crack. My kryptonite. My…well…you get the point.

Super secret question: what is your favorite holiday treat must have? Answer in the comments below!

Casey: What is your favorite holiday memory?

Pepper:  I LOVE LOVE having the memory of Christmas as my Granny's house. It was complete CHAOS! Wonderful chaos, but about forty people crammed into her little house with presents, paper, and people flying everywhere. Lots of fun and joy!

Pepper: Case, so you're living in Colorado now. What new traditions have you created in your
new place?

Casey: This is probably going to sound either incredibly boring to the non book lover OR like a book lover’s paradise, but I like to take the weekend and binge read one book from beginning to end. Usually it’s a book that I’ve been dying to actually sit down and read and for one reason or another (usually not very good reasons) I’ve been putting it off. It’s a great time. ;-)

Casey:  What inspired you to start the Alley?

Pepper: I wanted fellowship, I think that was the catalyst for The Writers Alley. I'd been hanging out at Seekerville with those AMAZING ladies for about a year or two and wondered if anyone would be interested in starting a blog for newbies. I found Sherrinda Ketchersid on Seekerville and we starting brainstorming ideas for TWA. I can't remember if you were in on the conversations about what we wanted TWA to BE before we decided on an Alley - but goodness, there were all sorts of concoctions. A cruise ship, a shop...I can't even remember what else.

Pepper: What do you remember about our first meeting, Casey? I think I immediately knew you needed to be my little sister forever!

Casey: I remember exactly where we met! It was on your blog! I was becoming a regular commenter, especially because you always hosted all of these amazing authors with these amazing excerpts that made me want to check out their amazing books. Which I did! And now I have amazing author friends all thanks to YOU! But that wasn’t the real question. I know I got to know you by reading and having conversations with you over Wordpress blog comments that eventually bloomed into emails. I will always remember how STUNNED I was to be invited into the TWA conversations when the blog started and I couldn’t believe it. Still can’t some days. ;-)

Casey:  Tell me about your latest book!

Pepper: Latest or upcoming?  (Casey interjecting: YES!)

The Thorn Healer, the third book in my Penned in Time series, was released on December 6! It's a
little different than its predecessors because it takes place in this small town in NC about 45 minutes from where I currently live. There's a fantastic history to the town of Hot Springs and I was thrilled to be able to unearth the stories and bring them to life.

My FAVORITE story ever is coming out in April 2017 - a true Britallachian Romantic Comedy fit for the likes of Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, or Meg Ryan :-) CANNOT WAIT!! (Casey interjecting again: YES! YES! YES!! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK! Ya’ll, it deserves all caps. And all the exclamation points we aren’t allowed to use in our novels, but REALLY want to!!!!)

Pepper: Super serious question, Case...what is YOUR Christmas wish?

Casey: Hmm. Such a serious question to end our fun filled time! I think I’ll bring some serious levity to the situation and say I’m really looking forward to introverting and resting. After the crazy season it’s been, the holidays bring with it a very welcome break. J

So, our dear friends and readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed our fun interview as much as we have! What is your Christmas wish this season? We are SO thankful for each of you and OUR Christmas wish this season is for you to know how much we value each and every one of you.

Did you find the super secret question hidden in the interview? Find it! Answer it! Be entered to win a copy of one of Pepper’s books! Your choice! (and yes, I know I’m overdoing the exclamation points. Who cares?!)

Fine print: US winners can pick their choice of print or ebook. If you’re an international winner, I’ll be happy to send you an ebook. But please note: sometimes ebooks don’t always play nice with overseas ereaders. This is a situation I cannot control.


Click to tweet: 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Creative Nonfiction: How to Maintain Your Writing Voice in an Oversaturated World

I can almost guarantee that there are a lot of things competing for your time and energy right now. 

The news, the lure of social media info dump, blogs to keep up with, craft books to read, podcasts (and Netflix) lining up in your queue, the comp titles in your TBR pile, and -- oh yeah! -- all the people you deal with in real life. Almost forgot about them :)

Whatever real-life factors are vying for your attention, it can be hard to clear the space when we sit down to do our work, to tell our stories.

The other week, I was listening to Ann Kroeker's Writing Coach podcast. They're only around five minutes long, little nuggets of wisdom and perspective for writers. In that episode, she talked about memoir writing as a form of creative nonfiction. We come across so many true and made-up stories in  between the time we save our latest work and the time we return to our keyboards. I truly believe this practice can make all the difference in maintaining our voice and inspiration for our own work.

What is creative nonfiction? It's the practice of remembering, Ann Kroeker says. Different than journaling, which tends to have more of an unfiltered, emotional focus, this style of writing helps us draw out the details from our memories. It does so by removing the pressures of writing for an audience, the unspoken need to filter our thoughts and memories according to marketing strategy, and the influence of buzz topics that often affect what we decide to write -- even if we don't realize it.

Because this kind of creative nonfiction is only for ourselves. 

What are the benefits?

  • It weeds everything else out except for what's meaningful to us personally and therefore helps us remember who we are at our very core without all of the competing information.
  • It exercises our brain-to-words connection, which can help make the creative writing process more powerful and efficient.
  • It can inspire original writing topics and story ideas from a more authentic place.
  • It refines the voice that makes us unique as an author. 
I encourage you to make some downtime in the midst of this crazy season to open a blank notebook and write about your most important memories. Things from your past that have defined who you are and the memories you're creating today. Write down the details you remember as if you're painting a picture in a novel. And please report back what this does for your fiction.

What else are you doing to protect your writing inspiration?


Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author and cheerleader for creatives. She believes that God's love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. 

Previously a full-time book publicist, Laurie now serves as a virtual assistant and runs a freelance editing and PR consulting business called 1624 Communications

She lives with her husband and two small children in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they are eagerly awaiting the release of her debut contemporary romance novel in May 2017 from Harlequin Heartwarming.

You can connect with Laurie on her website, Facebook page, and Twitter

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday CHRISTMAS fun with Heather Gray!

Thank goodness it's Friday, right?!? 

NINE more days until Christmas, y'all! Can you believe it?!? 

I thought it'd be fun to do a bit of a CHRISTMAS themed Friday post today, and have invited fellow indie author Heather Gray to join us in the festive hooplah!

But first...



PEPPER'S NEXT BOOK released last week!! If you haven't gotten a copy of The Thorn Healer, What are you waiting for?!?

And while not a NEW release, I (Krista) released my sandwich novellas in a 3-in-1 collection, so now you can get them all in one place in ebook or paperback! If you haven't read them, I'd LOVE for you to check them out! My novella, A (sorta) Southern Serenade, is also for sale individually in paperback and ebook this week!

Now, I sat down (virtually of course) with Heather and asked her a few fun Christmasy questions!

First, a question near and dear to my heart!

Christmas tree: Real or Fake? Colored lights or white? Angel, star, or bow on top? (or something else?!?) 

Fake, but I bought it on clearance after Christmas last year, so I got a great deal on it. :)  

White. I was pushing for ten strands, but my husband *may have* threatened to call the fire marshal after six. But the white lights pop really nicely with all the sparklies on the tree. 

Our tree topper is a star. With big poofy white feathers on it. As you can imagine, we didn't have a cat when we bought it. We, however, now have a resident feline. And yet we still put feathers on top of our tree. Because we want to make sure she stays entertained throughout the holidays...or because we're gluttons for punishment...or because I keep forgetting to buy a featherless tree topper. 

Feathers..... I would NOT have guessed that one! LOL Okay, so FAVORITE Christmas tradition: 

Monkey bread. We have monkey bread for breakfast on Christmas Day. When the kids were younger, I almost had them convinced that it was monkey brains. It smells a little too delicious, though, so they never completely bought into that story.

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Monkey bread is our Christmas morning tradition to!!!! YUM!!! So... FAVORITE Christmas movie:  

 So... Okay. Here's the thing. I don't watch a lot of movies. I get too easily distracted to stick it out all the way to the end. TV shows, no problem. Movies, not so much. And...confession #2...I'm really bad with names. Not just a little bit bad. Like seriously, completely, totally horrible at remembering names. If you were a person (which I'm hoping you are), I'd have to know you a good six months before I'd stand any chance of remembering your name. (Our church got a new pastor over a year-and-a-half ago. It took me a year just to learn his wife's name, and even now I sometimes second-guess myself. And (this is where it gets embarrassing) she's even in my Sunday school class.) If it takes me that long to learn the name of someone I see on a weekly basis, you can imagine how many times I'd have to watch a movie in order to remember its title. Could we, um, just save me further embarrassment and change the subject now...? 

No we can NOT change the subject. I'm flabbergasted. Do you remember MY name? Okay, fine, I'll change the subject. You know I still love you, right?!? What project are you working on right now and when will we be able to read it?

 Whew! This is an easier question! I'm doing final edits on An Informal Affair (Informal Romance #5), which will be out March 2017 in the Love at First Laugh box set - a collection of Christian romantic comedies. I'm also doing early edits on Skye (Rainbow Falls #1), which will be out in April 2017. And I'm two chapters into the writing of An Informal Understanding (Informal Romance #6), which will be released June 2017. I don't usually edit and write at the same time. I do one or the other (too easily distracted, remember?). But I have a few too many deadlines coming up, so I'm juggling a couple of different flaming swords at present. Here's hoping I don't accidentally burn the house down! :) 

A HUGE thanks to Heather for hanging out and getting our Christmas on today!!

Here's her bio and how you can check out her books!!

Heather Gray loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter - not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. Her books almost always include someone who's infatuated with coffee, too. Some things just can't be helped. Heather delights in creating characters who, like her, have their share of faults and foibles, characters who are flawed...but loved anyway.