I love blog tours! It's so fun to get in touch with a book that I enjoy and share it with you. I especially enjoy talking to the authors of these books too.
The Santa Letters is a must-have for this holiday season. Here's a little teaser about the book:
One year ago on Christmas Eve, William died.
For Emma, the hit-and-run driver killed more than her husband - he killed her joy in life itself.
Now, as Christmas again approaches, Emma Jensen finds herself sinking into a depression that nothing can breach; not her job, not her love for her children, and certainly not the season!
Money is tight, emotions taut, and those realities are magnified tenfold by knowing that this year Christmas will be a meager, empty, and painful experience. Only six-year-old McKenna believes in miracles and the magic of Christmas. The rest of the family knows that Christmas can never be the same.
But when a mysterious package and an ornate letter arrive on the doorstep, things begin to change.
Each day, a package and a letter signed “Santa” arrive for the family, and together they come to understand that the joy of Christmas does not have to be lost forever and that God’s love can heal any wound,…no matter how deep.
The Santa Letters will take the Jensens on a journey through a Christmas experience that will have the power to heal them all.
This is a beautiful story about life, love, and enjoying our blessings. I enjoyed the emotion of the story and the window it provided into those who struggle with grief.
Once you read the book, I'm pretty sure you'll agree that The Santa Letters are a great idea and I think it’s neat that Stacy put several ideas of how to give Santa Letters to others in need.
Stacy was kind enough to answer some questions for a great author interview. Read on to learn more about her experiences.Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
It was something I did for my own family on a limited budget (due to legal and counseling bills) hoping to help them heal after I'd found out that two of my sons had been in a sexually abusive situation. I was desperate to find a way to remember all the gifts we'd been given throughout our lives and hang onto those.
I have taken part in the 12 days of Christmas before and other fun "secret" acts for the holidays. It seems natural to do these kinds of things during the holidays, but then there isn't as much emphasis once the new year rolls around. What do you recommend we do to keep the spirit of service alive all year round?
To remember with a grateful heart the true gifts of the season that affect our lives year round and to follow in the footsteps of the Savior. It's easy to forget such things during our day to day activities but they are the things that matter, that bring peace and true joy. Once you understand that, you then have the desire to help others find that kind of peace and joy especially as you watch them struggle. When you are grateful and follow the Savior, your capacity to love is increased and service and making a difference becomes integral to your own happiness as you share with others.
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
I have different ones for different reasons. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation for laughter, A Muppet's Christmas Carol for entertainment, A Christmas Story for nostalgia but the best Christmas movies for me are those of my own family enjoying the season together. Commercially, I don't think the ultimate Christmas movie has yet been made.
What is your favorite Christmas book/story?
I'm a self proclaimed Christmas junkie so I have a grand collection of stories both short and novel length. My favorite short story is about a group of animals that proclaim their own great traits being somewhat snide and condescending to the little humble donkey who did nothing more than carry the mother of a king. My favorite novel length Christmas story up to this point has been The Christmas Box.
Was it difficult to write and sell this story?
It was very difficult for a couple of reasons. First because it was intensely personal and I had doubts that anyone would be really interested in a story about a family who found a way to heal and secondly because that family found healing through understanding the life and mission of the Savior. Ultimately, I decided to write it because in a day and age where so many people are publicly trying to take Christ out of this nation, I felt it important to write a story that put Him back into the holiday that is named after Him and give the silent majority a story with hope and healing.
What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Follow your dream and when a story chooses you, put your fears aside and write to your passions and what's in your heart. And practice, practice, practice! Hone your skills in whatever way you can whether that be classes, a job or self evaluation and writing groups. Just write!!!
What other writing projects are you working on that you'd like to share with us?
I have a book coming out for Mother's Day called Life is Tough - I Doubt I'll Make it Out Alive and another one coming out for Christmas of 2009 called The Legend of the Star. But the project I am excited about right now is the companion book to The Santa Letters called The Inmate Letters which picks up with Guillermo's story. The first chapter is posted on my website http://www.thesantaletters.org/. All of the other projects I've got in the works are listed on http://www.stacyganderson.com/.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
I just appreciate all who have embraced this little story and am overwhelmed by the response it's gotten. It's not really my story though, it's just one I was blessed enough to be a part of. And I hope that people take from it this - the understanding of where true peace and happiness come from and to remember that those who cannot first find Christmas in their hearts will never find it in prettily wrapped packages under a tree. Thanks, Rachelle, It's been an honor!
Purchase The Santa Letters at Amazon.com, click here or at Deseret Book
To find out more info and see other great reviews visit Stacy’s blog at http://www.stayinalivewithstacy.blogspot.com/ or her website at http://www.thesantaletters.org/