Monday, December 17, 2012

Celebrating Our Favorite Holiday Together + Second Giveaway!

Howdy folks!
Yes, it's that time again. Monday....booooo :( But if we spend it together, it'll be better I think! This Monday I'm taking my last final of the semester and I'll be blissfully headed into my Christmas vacation (well.....after Christmas is over it'll be blissful :P). How about you? What are you doing on this Monday?

On a Christmas-y note, we got snow yesterday!! Not a ton, but just enough to cover the ground (and my car haha) and make everything look a lil better.

Who's dreaming of a white Christmas this year?
Now on another Christmas-y note, we have a special guest! Kellie Coates Gilbert is a dear friend of mine that I met this year. She just so happens to be an author as well! Her debut book, Mother of Pearl, released this past September and I have to recommend this well written, riveting page-turner! If you stay tuned to the end, you'll even have a chance to win your very own copy :) I feel very lucky to have met her and say she is amongst my friends! Please say a warm welcome to Miss Kellie!

The Interview:
Hannah: Miss Kellie!! You're actually on my blog - woohoo!! I seriously hope this isn't the last time :) But we'll get right into it, hm? When does the Christmas season officially start in your household? What is the first thing done that marks the start (i.e. putting up Christmas tree, baking first gingerbread men, etc)?
Kellie: Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday, with Independence Day a close second.  Our family begins the weekend after Thanksgiving by putting up the tree and house decorations.  The Christmas carols play and the scented candles burn. I stock the refrigerator with eggnog and spiced cider, and we’re off and running!

H: Aha! I KNEW there must be another reason we get along so well - another Christmas nut :P In a Christmas fantasy land – who would be the famous figures, past and/or present, at your dinner table and why?
K: Oh, that one’s easy!  I’d have Joseph, Mary, the innkeeper, the shepherds and wise men….and of course, Jesus.  (I happen to believe He already sits at my Christmas table, but what a rush if my eyes could see His physical form stabbing a piece of prime rib with one of my mother’s silver forks in His nail scarred hand.  Whoo!  Just close your eyes and think on THAT one a minute!

H: I love how descriptive and enthusiastic you are, Miss Kellie. Your passion shines through :) Do you have specific traditions for Christmas Eve?
K: Our family traditions have morphed over the years.  Our two boys are raised now, but when they were little, Christmas eve was a busy evening ending with trying to get two excited little guys calmed down to go to sleep so Santa could come in the middle of the night and leave gifts.
Currently, we spend the afternoon with extended family and then go to Christmas Eve service with our boys and their families.  My husband and I return home and enjoy a few quiet moments in front of the tree before we head to bed.
This year, our little grandson is two.  He will add a whole new layer of enjoyment to our season.  His reaction to the tree lights was precious!

H: Oh wow :) You're so lucky to have all of them! Sounds festive. I can't imagine having a little one, but soon we'll have not one, but TWO! My cousin is expecting twins! The first great grandchildren ;) Exciting times! What did you ask Santa for this year? *wink*
K: I have two lists. One holds the wishes of my heart – the important things I hope for family and friends.  The more superficial list always holds the same item.  Gift cards to Barnes and Noble! (or Starbucks).  I think my husband may have purchased a Dyson vacuum though.  I accidently got a peek at the box in the garage….okay, maybe not so accidently.  Smiles.

H: Hahahahaha you crack me up!! I HATE to peek, never have liked it honestly. I'd rather just be surprised. For me, it's not about getting presents, it's about giving them that's importantHow does it feel to know you’re a published author that has eager “fans” awaiting a new book?
K: Blessed.  Very, very blessed.
I started on this journey to publication and learning to write novels almost seven years ago.  I let myself dream a little and conjure what it would be like if I got published, but the pictures in my head never equated to the reality of opening my email box to so many daily messages from readers telling me they loved MOTHER OF PEARL.  I get a little teary thinking about it.

H: I'm so happy for you, you deserve every bit of praise. It's truly a magnificent book! One of my friends is going to borrow my copy once life settles down a bit for her lol! She saw my review and said she was completely intrigued. What can expect from you next? Any Christmas themed books!?
K: Well, to answer part one of your question:  I can’t give details until the ink is dry on the contract, but a major CBA publisher has just picked me up for another four books, a collection of stand alone novels that will focus on women and what matters to our hearts.  To say I’m thrilled is an understatement.
About a Christmas themed book – I’d love too if the opportunity ever presents.

H: Eeeeek! That's SO exciting!! I had no idea, congratulations! You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen. Kellie Coates Gilbert SIGNED for FOUR more books! Your heard me right.....FOUR MORE BOOKS to come from this fantastic author *said in my best broadcaster voice* ;) What have been some of the highlights of 2012 for you?
K: By far – no question – hands down, the highlight of 2012 will always be the release of my debut novel and how God answered the whispered prayers of my heart.
I am a former legal investigator and trial paralegal, and loved that work.  But, in the quiet recesses of my soul I longed to write stories that allow women to feel they are not alone in their journey. Especially when life gets messy.

H: Once again, congratulations, Miss Kellie. Of course it seems only fit that 2012 would mark the start of your (hopefully) long lasting writing career :) 
These are some “short answer” questions. You can answer them in as few words as possible – even simply one word.

Ha, you are asking a writer to shorten her words?  Good luck with that!

Favorite Christmas book read this year? Movie seen?

The last Christmas book I read was Julie Cannon’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Summerside Press).

My favorite movie this year was Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. The story reflects the fiction I love to write  . . . and read.

Last Christmas song you heard?

Ha – I’m listening to Christmas music now.  I’m playing Vince Guaradi’s ACharlie Brown Christmas CD.

Favorite food to make or eat during the season?

Whenever I’m asked to bring food to a holiday party, I make my signature onion tart.  I bake phyllo dough on a cookie sheet while sautéing onions in butter and a bit of brown sugar, which I then spread on the baked crust and sprinkle with goat cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese softens.  Yum!

Favorite place to spend Christmas day?


How can readers connect with you?
My cyber home is  From there, readers can sign up for my Reader’s Club so they will get first news about upcoming releases and fun promotions.  Readers can purchase books from my website by using the Amazon, Barnes & Noble and CBD buttons.  There are also buttons that will take readers directly to my Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads accounts.  I blog regularly and there is a place to register for the RSS feeds as well.

Anything else you would like to say? J

One of the treasures for novelists is connecting with readers, and making new friends in the process. You are an example, Miss Hannah.  I love our Facebook chats!

Thank you for inviting me to appear on your blog.  I look forward to meeting your followers.

Miss Kellie!! Thank YOU SO much for agreeing to work with me on coming onto the blog :) This was such a fun interview, so glad we got to do it. And I learned more about you as well! 

About Kellie: A former legal investigator and trial paralegal, Kellie Coates Gilbert writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure.  Her stories are about messy lives, and eternal hope.

Kellie’s upcoming novel, MOTHER OF PEARL, Abingdon Press Sept 2012, tells the emotionally compelling story of a high school counselor who discovers her own teenage daughter had an inappropriate relationship with the football coach . . . and how she risks everything to bring him to justice. 

Giveaway Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please share with your friends and get the word out :) Good luck! Talk to you tomorrow,


  1. Hi Hannah and Kellie, Merry Christmas! This was such a fun interview. Hannah, you ask great questions. Personally I'm a "peeker", I love to inspect all the wrapped presents, even the ones that aren't for me, and see if I can guess what they are. My question is Kellie why are you excited about a vacuum? THOSE are for work! LOLOLOLOL!

    Renee C.

  2. Hi!
    Congrats on getting your first book published and the upcoming 4!
    I would like to win this book because:
    #1 I have heard very good things about it
    #2 I very much enjoy Christian Fiction
    #3 I would like to review it for my own little blog. I am a very new, very beginning, book review blogger.

  3. Hi Renee and Jasmine -
    Thank you so much for entering to win a free copy of MOTHER OF PEARL. I agree with Renee, Hannah does ask great questions and if you saw the piece of junk vacuum I'm currently lugging across the floor, you'd get excited too! Jasmine - I'd be tickled to have you blog about my novel. I'd offer a give-away to one of your U.S. winners.

    I hope you both sign up for Kellie's Readers Club from my website. I'd love to stay in touch.

    Thanks again, Miss Hannah. You are a GEM!

    1. We will have to plan on that, Thanks!
      Jasmine A.

  4. Your onion tart sounds yummy! Shame our bookclub is always at a restaurant. Guess I will have to try it out myself.

    Great interview too!

  5. Oh DO need to make the onion tart. Easy peasy!

  6. This book is on my to read list.Sadly I can't enter to try and win a copy as I live in Australia.Congrats with the contract for 4 more novels.Enjoyed the interview.

  7. Wow, this sounds like an incredible book and loved the questions too! What a hard topic to write about though! I would love to win this book as it is always fun to read new authors...they write the best books!

  8. Hello Hannah dear! Sorry it took me so long to read this :P I want to read Mother of Pearl because I love reading about books involving some sort of taboo subject!

  9. This sounds so interesting. I like that it's not a common subject. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Has the lucky winner been notified?