Monday, December 2, 2013

Countdown to Christmas | Interview & Giveaway w/ Ruth Logan Herne

Welcome back to the Countdown to Christmas {Book} Party! In case you missed it, the party kicked off earlier today with an interview and giveaway with Tricia Goyer. Now, I'm pleased to have Ruth Logan Herne here to keep this party going! (Melody Carlson will be stopping by tomorrow!)

Ruthy has two Christmas books out this year: Love Finds You in the City at Christmas and The Lawman's Holiday Wish. Be sure to read all the way to the end to find out more about these books and for a chance to enter a copy of each! 

i blog 4 books: Ruthy, thank you so much for stopping by this afternoon! Tell us about your most memorable Christmas and why?

Ruth Logan Herne: When my baby niece was born on Christmas day, a month early, very healthy, a true blessing. Her parents had lost their first son nearly a year before, on January 6th and I prayed that God would grant them joy of a baby at Christmas… and he did! Amity was a five-pound gift from heaven. Nothing would ever replace the big brother she would never know, but having her get born on Christmas day was a wonderful thing!

ib4b: Oh my! That IS a wonderful Christmas! And Amity is such a pretty name! Name three words that you associate with Christmas.

RLH: Joy, Love and Giving! Followed closely by EGGNOG and music!!!!! 

ib4b: How will your family celebrate Christmas this year?

RLH: Oh, we have a big family, so multiple times and ways. Family parties, bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, adopting a family, helping with Christmas “boxes” and foods, lovely dinners cooked by me because I get so excited when my ‘away’ kids come home for the holidays! Love it!

ib4b: What is the best gift you’ve ever given?

RLH: Oh, my. Oh my stars. Oh my gracious sakes. I have no idea.  Piffle, you’ve stumped me!!!!  I think that means I’m a LAME GIVER!!!! Dagnabbit!

ib4b: Haha! I don't think that means you're a lame giver, though! Maybe it just means that ALL of your gifts are awesome. :) Who gave you the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? What was it?

RLH: God!!!!  And I mean that so sincerely because that first gift of Christmas, “a child” is so intrinsically a part of me. I love children, I celebrate babies and we’re so blessed to have a family. So yes, this one I can answer whole-heartedly: Best Gift Of Christmas: The Christ Child!!!!

ib4b: Tell me about the Christmas tradition that means the most to you.

RLH: Reading the Gospel of St. Luke at our annual family Christmas party. My mother did it once she was older and we’ve carried the tradition on with all of the kids and grandkids… we read about shepherds and angels and stars at night! And a child, born to the poor.

ib4b: How do you keep your focus on Christ during this hectic but wondrous time of year?

RLH: I’ve had to work to learn to do this. I got caught up in the “fancies” of Christmas when the kids were smaller and I had to re-learn simple. I love simple! Good food… Great people… God’s love. And music! I love Christmas music! And The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my favorite fun Christmas movies. The Fozziwig Christmas party!!!  Happy dancing, just thinking of that!

This or That ...
  • White or colorful lights?  Both! Several rooms, we have fun with different lights in them!
  • Turkey or ham? Turkey!!!! With gravy… mashed potatoes…. Cranberry orange relish!  Oh, yum!
  • Tree - real or fake?  Both. We have a real tree in the dining room and an aritificial one In the living room because it’s got a wood-burning stove. The real tree is our family tree, all the fun paper ornaments the kids made when they were little, the ones that mean so much! The other one is a “country” tree I saw at Agway Farm Store twenty years ago. I fell in love with it and saved $5/week  so when they put it on sale after Christmas, I bought it. Just sweet, country, white lights and farm animals. Burlap. Paper. So sweet!
  • Hot cocoa or apple cider?  Cider! I love spiced apple cider and I live in “Apple Country” truly our local designation! My friends are apple farmers and they give me lots of guidance on farm books…  In fact, Kim Zarpentine, owner of Zarpentine Farms in Hilton NY was a big help in developing the story line for “Piper McKinney” my heroine and recurring character from my second Kirkwood Lake book “Falling for the Lawman”.
  • Frosty or Rudolph?  Rudolph. I love Rudolph!!! Although I can sing music from both shows, very badly, ty the way, and enjoy them with the little kids, but Rudolph wins!!!
  • Wrapping paper or gift bag?  I love gift bags for showers and things like that, but no one should mess with the joy of a kid unwrapping presents under a tree!!!
About The Lawman's Holiday Wish
No one in Kirkwood Lake seems willing to forget, or forgive, Rainey McKinney's troubled past. But Rainey can't afford to let that bother her. Her top priority is rebuilding her life and being a good mom to her twin daughters. Even handsome deputy sheriff Luke Campbell can't distract her, tempting as he is. She's determined to keep her distance, but as his son and her girls form a special bond, Rainey and Luke can't help but do the same. Can Rainey put her past behind her once and for all and embrace a future full of hope—and love?

About Love Finds You in the City at Christmas
Love comes to New York City in two heartwarming stories of Christmas past and present.

In 'Red Kettle Christmas,' it's 1946, and police officer Mike Wolzak inherits the family home. . . and the custody of his troubled sister. While on patrol during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mike meets a Salvation Army bell ringer struggling to support herself and her young child. Over the holiday season in Manhattan, she teaches the veteran how to support his family. In the process, he gains a new one.

In 'Manhattan Miracle,' a war-weary soldier finally comes home. Max Wolzak is celebrating Christmas in the Manhattan brownstone where he spent much of his childhood when he meets Sarah, his sister's old schoolmate. Sparks fly as the pair gets reacquainted over holiday events, but when Max realizes she will leave for the Middle East the day after Christmas, he has a decision to make.

About Ruth Logan Herne 
Born into poverty, Ruthy is a hearth-and-home author who loves God, chocolate, her family, coffee, dogs and frappuccinos... And not always in that order!

She lives in tiny-town USA in upstate New York, loves to visit her kids in big cities, and thinks that getting lost is God's way of giving her new plot lines to explore!

When she's not writing she's working full time torturing small children for financial gain and shamelessly exploiting kids and baby animals to sell her delightfully sweet books.

She's pretty sure cleaning is over-rated, that orderliness is a military skill to be admired from afar, and that possums should leave the cat food on the side porch alone.

And snakes should stay outside or beware the consequences.

She hangs out in Seekerville with an awesome bunch of writers and readers and loves chatting it up with folks. That's a nice way of saying she talks a lot!

Connect with Ruth Logan Herne Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Giveaway
Ruthy is giving away a copy of Love Finds You in the City at Christmas and The Lawman's Holiday Wish to TWO winners! (Winner's choice of paperback or e-copies.) Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada and ends December 9. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.


*** All participants must be 18 years or older. The winner will be contacted via email. Once contacted the winner has 72 hours to respond with the required information. If the winner does not respond within the timeframe specified, another winner will be chosen. I am not responsible for shipping mishaps. Void where prohibited. ***
 

33 comments:

  1. Definitely a real tree!! If I had to have a fake tree... I wouldn't even want to get one at all.

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  2. I love real trees, too... There's something about the real smell of pine that calls me! But I love my artificial tree with all of its cute country decorations. And I remember tucking the money away, just in case no one bought it and they discounted it after Christmas... and they did, LOL! :)

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  3. I love the real Christmas trees, but many years ago they got too expensive for us to buy every year. So since then we have a fake tree, but very pretty with my many, many years of Ornaments. and, of course the lights. And, doesn't get pine needles everywhere or get dry if not enough water. So way more easier. I would love to be a winner. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie, I hear you! It does get pricey, and depending on what part of the country/world you're in, it can be ridiculous! And there are really pretty artificial trees out there. When my original one started shedding needles like a LIVE TREE.... after about fifteen years or so of use.... I watched a tree at Sears through the Christmas season. Big. Glorious! Artificial and pricey... but I thought if I watch it and it goes on sale after Christmas and I have the cash on hand.... so I watched and waited and sure enough, as I was walking through the mall on December 23rd, the tree was half-price with a 10% coupon besides! So that one came home with me and now that one gets the country ornaments, little cows and apples and paper angels. Sounds DORKY, right???? :) But it's really pretty... and it reflects that I'm surrounded by orchards, apple farms, dairy farms and small town sweetness! And I do a ton of lights (I'm a little scary when I'm crawling around, feeding lights on the bottom of trees....) so any tree looks better with lots of light!

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  4. I love a real Christmas tree but after entering the nursing profession twenty-four years ago (and working night shift all twenty-four years), time constraints made us change to an artificial tree. In doing so we began a new tradition of buying a Hallmark ornament each year for our daughter and son. This year we also bought an ornament for our soon-to-be son-in-law. Our tree is full of a mixture of fun and lovely ornaments, each bringing memories of why we chose them. We play Christmas music while we unwrap and place the ornaments on the tree. A nice way to start the holidays.

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    1. Rachel, that's just plain lovely! Time is an issue for so many of us! But it sounds beautiful, and it's fun to mix old and new, store-bought and home-made. Love it!

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  5. We love our artificial tree! Everyone looks forward to putting up the tree and decorating it with ornaments old and new!!

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    1. Britney, it's in the heart, isn't it? And I always remind myself repeatedly that the reason for the celebration is in the manger... that cold, awkward bed... and then I re-think where my importance lies!

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  6. Great interview from a "new to me" author. I will have to get some of her books, they sound really good. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Debbie

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  7. Hi Ruthy,
    Enjoyed the interview. Many years ago we bought a rather expensive (even with the after Christmas sale) ten foot artificial tree. It seemed like a great solution since my dh traveled so much that it made it hard to care for a real tree. However, the year after we purchased it we moved to NY. You would have died laughing at us when we were looking for houses as the first thing we asked at every house was, "Where will the tree go?" (FORGET the furniture!) That really frustrated the Realtors! Merry Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Lyndee, I can see it! Because they're not cheap and there's no second-hand market for them, especially pre-Craig's List days!!! Merry Christmas back at you! Thanks for stopping by and here's a fresh eggnog to go!!! :)

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  8. With three little boys, it has to be a real tree that they help cut, carry, put up and decorate. Wouldn't be Christmas without it.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. We've cut our own lots of times, Barbara.... the kids loved it! We have six kids, grown now, but it was so much fun, going for the tree! And then as they got older, and everyone playing different sports, running here and there, multiple jobs... we couldn't always gather the crew to go tree shopping, so we'd go to the pre-cut seller in the next town and buy one from him... and then he became a firewood customer of ours and we have a nice friendly support system going on! :) We buy our Christmas tree there... he buys his firewood from us. Sweet capitalism!

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  9. We always went for a real tree, but when our absolute favorite Christmas tree farm closed (they ran it to put their kids through college, so when the last one was done, they closed up), we went with an artificial tree. It isn't a pretty one either unfortunately. But it serves. If we had a bigger living room, I think we'd try to return to the days of a real tree that reaches out to the middle of the room!

    Love your responses to the questions, Ruthy! And I'm not surprised at any of them either. :)

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    1. Aw, Mel, you're so sweet! And you know, real or not, big or small, the tree isn't the heart of anything... we are, with our love for God, our appreciation for such a sacrifice. His only begotten son, his sweet baby boy, given to an Earth that would eventually take his life... Talk about love. :) I think Christmas trees are like babies: each one is the sweetest and the best! Merry Christmas, dear friend!

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  10. I love a real tree but the convenience of a fake tree wired with lights won out this year!

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    1. Merry, I love your Christmasy name!!!! :) Yup, sometimes it's the time crunch that makes our decision! And I bet it's gorgeous! Our little ones are tucking yarn into Baby Jesus's manger now... getting his "bed" warm with their good deeds. THEY ARE ADORABLE!!! And the yarn or hay in the manger is such an easy way to show kids the real meaning of Christmas. #HAPPY!!!! :)

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  11. I use an artificial tree in my room but I live in my brother's basement and they have a real tree so I get to enjoy both kinds.

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  12. I have an artificial tree because the smell of a real tree gives me a headache.

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  13. We do fake...we did have a real one last year...big mess.

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  14. We have a fake tree. Less expensive than buying a new one every year. But I do like the smell of a live tree.

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  15. We have always had fake trees. One 7 foot in the living room and then each of the kids has their own 3 foot in their bedrooms.

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  16. My daughter would love both of these as well as me!!

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  17. Nothing delights me more than picking out a Christmas tree, smelling the pine, and keeping it fresh. It truly brings Christmas to life. Sadly, this year we have to go fake, because of our cats. Next year they should be ready for real. :)

    KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. had one fake Christmas Tree....after Christmas, took it down, threw it away, NEVER to have another fake tree!!! Gotta be real to be Christmas!!! Jesus is the Reason

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  19. i would rather have a fake Christmas tree as it is easier to clean up after.....only way i would have a real tree is if i could put it up just a week before christmas.....but then again i remember getting stuck by the needles and didnt like that....so most likely i would stay with a fake tree lol

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  20. We have two artificial trees and love decorating them. We may do a real tree someday. I remember having a real tree one time when I was a child, but I grew up doing the artificial trees, so that has been what I am used to.
    Brittany McEuen

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  21. Well... in my younger days... lol, real and even a real rooted one that we planted in our yard, but now... fake..

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  22. As much as I love the scent of a real tree, I'd have to say artificial because I can safely leave it up a long time. I could sit in my dark sunroom and gaze at the multi-colored lights for hours on end.

    Ruth, I enjoyed your interview and love your three words, especially eggnog and music! I've been a church pianist for almost 50 years and I love eggnog, so there! I'm also eager to read your books, as they get excellent reviews.

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  23. Fake now. Love real trees but dislike the fire hazard.

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  24. I love real trees but we have a fake. I miss the smell. Growing up we would cut our own. Miss it.
    Blessings
    joeym11@frontier.com

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  25. Love Finds You in the City at Christmas sounds very good and I would like to read more books in that city. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  26. I love my brand new artificial tree. I put it up really early this year so I could enjoy it even longer.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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I love comments! Thanks for letting me know what you think!

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