Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas Countdown: CHRISTMAS KISSES

Stephanie Worlton is an author, designer, gabber, and sugar addict! She was raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City where she developed a passion for the creation of space, color, and design. Her love of design drove her to pursue a degree in architecture. Her love of family pulled her home to be a mom.  She enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, writing, making massive project lists, doing remodeling and building projects, playing in the dirt, and snuggling with her dogs. She collects power tools, camera equipment, shoes (though barefoot is always best!), and books.

Ali Cross, the award-winning author of the Desolation Series, has always had a flare for the dramatic. As a child she organized backyard performances of classic plays and musicals and hosted tea parties for invisible friends and pets dressed in doll clothes. Her teens were a haze of boys, drama (of the real life variety), and music. So it really didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the girl her family called a dreamer, ended up writing drama—with angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures thrown in for fun.

After university, Ali traveled from the Great White North to the Utah desert for love and now entertains her devoted husband, almost-grown twin sons and adorable yorkies with her wacky song renditions and random movie lines. As the only female in the house she considers this her right and her duty.

Never one to conform to expectations, Ali enjoys writing in multiple genres:

Ali Cross books for young adult paranormal romance; Ali Banks Cross books for middle grade adventures; and Ali M. Cross for inspirational romance. She promises to entertain you no matter which of her books you pick up.

Award-winning Author

I had lots of imaginary friends when I was five years old, and I guess you could say some of those friends never left me. In fact along the way, I picked up some more imaginary friends who have had lots to say.

I love watching stories unfold. And some of those stories seem worth sharing with you.

So, I have written a few books. And have several more in the works.

Meanwhile, some of my books have won some awards. And even more importantly, my books have made friends with some wonderful and supportive readers. I absolutely love it when a reader connects with one of my stories.

Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became ‘True Aggies’.  She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing.  

After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. 

Eight books and four small kids later, Stacy has truly learned the necessary skills of balance and time management. Dr. Pepper and chocolate also help. She and her husband live in Utah with their four children and three dogs. Bear Lake is her favorite place to write.

Are you ready to fall in love? 

Take the chill out of winter with four new multi-genre romances from best-selling and award-winning authors Tara C. Allred, Stacy Lynn Carroll, Ali M. Cross, and Stephanie Connelley Worlton. 

From heart-warming traditions to heart-pounding suspense, this cozy collection of toe-tingling first kisses set in Utah’s North Pole (aka Bear Lake) will leave you feeling cheerful and bright.

Snippet from Miss S crooge by Tara C. Allred:

Caroline offered him a half smile. "I didn't know that about you."
"What? That I love this holiday? Who doesn't? The lights, the foods, the music, the weather, just the feeling in the air. You can't not be happy this time of year. I love it!"
He turned into the mall’s outdoor parking area and, after finding a spot, he raised his hand as she reached for her door. "Hold on.” He jumped out of the Explorer and ran around to the passenger door to open it for her.
"You know," he said, while taking her hand, “snow’s in the forecast.” As they walked through the parking lot, he released a laugh. “Wouldn't that be awesome? Falling snow, on the first day of the Christmas season, right here while we’re watching the world around us light up?"
"No." Caroline paused her steps, only to see a look of concern cover Christopher's face as he stopped next to her. Quickly, she softened her tone, "No,” she said firmly. “I mean you really love Christmas, much more than the average person."
"I don't know.” He shrugged, as he started their walk again. “If you mean planning to have my own light show outside my house once I'm married with a family, of course. I mean, I’m thinking two-hundred strands of lights, all synced to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Maybe a Frosty on the lawn, or even better yet, a light-up Rudolph that sings along with the music. Passing cars could tune in on their radio. If counting down since June 25 to Christmas is average, I'm totally your average guy for this time of year."

Q&A With Tara C Allred

1.       Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I love watching stories unfold. So, I have written a some books. My books have won some awards, and even more importantly, my books have made friends with some wonderful and supportive readers. I absolutely love it when a reader connects with one of my stories.

2.       What do you love most in the world?

3.       What inspired you to become an Author?
I loved to read since I was four years old. When I was five, my mom signed her kids up for a book-making workshop at the library. At the time, all I knew was I was about to learn how books were made. I was beyond excited for the magic behind their creation to be revealed. I clearly remembering descending the library stairs, peering down to discover the truth, and being shocked to see it was people. People made books! So, I was going to make books too.

Of course, the workshop was really about binding your own books. But I took home my little bound book with its blank pages and immediately began writing my first story.

4.       What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?
Hanging the special ornament of the year on the tree that is tied in with one special adventure we as a family have had that year.

5.       What is your trick for getting past writer's block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

My books are character-driven. So, if I am stuck, it usually is because my characters aren’t fully developed. By going back and revisiting my characters and fleshing them out more, with deeper motives, goals, and conflicts (both internal and external), that helps pull me out of writer’s block.

Advice for other authors struggling to tell their story – examine your conflict. How can you make your conflict richer? What greater opposition can pull at your character to bring more emotion and a greater connection for your reader?

6.       Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. What's your story?
So, the rest of the story about wanting to become an author…
When I was five, I learned people write books, so I wanted to write books. And from then on, each year, I would write a book.
Then in fifth grade, we all had an assignment in school to write a book, and mine ended up being the longest in the entire class, significantly. It was then I determined that I wanted to be an author and publish my books someday. Everyone in school believed me, that I would be an author, because my book was longer than anyone else. Even the teacher wrote in my elementary yearbook “You will be a great author.” I laugh at this now, if only length was the determinant for being a respectable and great author – lol!

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