Tag Archives: Christmas

‘Tis an Exciting Stop in the ‘Twas Blog Hop… and Did I Say, a Giveaway?

Just in case you didn’t know, I’m taking part in an 11-week tour to celebrate the release of Twas the Evening of Christmas. But here’s the thing… I don’t need to pack any clothes, or jump on a jet or even drive anywhere. In fact, I won’t ever have to leave the comfort of my own home.

This tour is a virtual one, courtesy of the internet, where eleven different folks from far-flung states such as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and New York are writing about my latest release.

From homeschooling mums to authors; from reviewers to Children’s Ministers, these eleven folks are sharing their thoughts about the book, and offering a giveaway of this new Christmas title at every stop, courtesy of my wonderful publishers, Zonderkidz.

And today, I’m super excited, because this stop is different from all the rest… Continue reading

On Brand New Babies, and Books, and Awful, Ugly, One Star Reviews…

So my brand-new, precious baby is just one week old today. She was formed inside me a long, long time ago.

As soon as that seed began to take shape and develop, I watched over her like any proud parent would. I nurtured her growth at every single stage. Sometimes I would get tiny, tantalizing peeks into what she would be like, and anticipation would build.

And then, the glorious day came when I welcomed her into the world! She arrived! I got to hold her for the first time, turn her over, and examine every minute and marvelous detail.

As crazy as it may seem, when an author welcomes a brand-new book into the world, it feels as though that book is borne from your being; those pages are part of who you are; every sentence that you painstakingly penned and prayed over are ones that somehow spilled out from the center of your soul.

Which is why, as author Alison Hodgson alluded to so humorously and hauntingly at the Breathe Writers Conference, when someone writes a review such as the one that I’m about to share, it’s tantamount to announcing to the author that your precious, brand-new baby is UGLY… Continue reading

Eek, Eek, Take a Peek… Inside Snuggle Time Christmas!

It was a hop-up-and-down day when my first copy of this gorgeous, glittery little book arrived on the doorstep. And even though the trees behind are still clinging on to their leaves, and even though that blue lake in the distance isn’t frozen yet, I have to tell you the shocking news that it’s actually only 109 days until Christmas!

So, for all you early shoppers, here’s a peek inside the perfect little gift that tells the story of Jesus’ birth in thirteen poems.  Continue reading

A Five Book Giveaway of This Premium Picture Book That Just Arrived on my Doorstep

EEK! Look what arrived on my doorstep a few days ago! This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first copy of Twas the Evening of Christmas, a brand new, premium picture book with a cover “that comes alive with foil and sculpted embossing.” (Thank you, Zonderkidz, for that lovely description!)

It was a boiling hot 85 degrees, as I perched the book on the table outside and took this photo…

Continue reading

Announcing the Winner and What’s Coming Next…

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway of my 2018 new releases: God Made Mommy Special and God Made Daddy Special.

Congratulations Chickie Brewer! I’m thrilled that you won, but I do hope you can be as patient as our Mommy Snail…

You’ll have to wait a while, but your books will be on their way to you as soon as they are published… in February next year!

Now for those of you who didn’t win, get ready to enter the soon-to-be-advertised giveaways for these two new Christmas titles, coming October 3rd 2017: Continue reading

What To Do When Jesus is Buried

During the month of December, a jolly light up Santa would always stand proudly on our front porch. He was there, smiling to the world, ready to herald the arrival of Christmas. But a few years ago, we decided to upgrade to the Holy Family.

We arranged Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus on the front lawn, tracked down our extension leads, and plugged them in. Beautiful!  The baby Jesus brought light to our neighborhood, which of course, is what Jesus always does.

My husband and I watched from the window as the children who lived in the street came to admire the display. It gave us a good feeling to advertise the true meaning of Christmas.

But one week, when the heavy snows came to Michigan, Continue reading

The Final Christmas Love Letters from God Giveaway!

The countdown to Christmas is in full swing. with just twenty days left and little lights twinkling everywhere.

My Facebook feed is full of folks sharing their newly decorated Christmas trees, and just to add to the magic of the season, it started snowing yesterday, at least here in Michigan. I woke up to this wonderful world of white right outside my window.

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Christmas is coming. Jesus is coming. That little baby, hope of the whole world, light of all life.. He is coming.

Christmas is simply the best time to begin making memories and establishing family traditions with our children.

At my final blog stop in the Christmas Love Letters from God tour, I’m sharing ideas for seven meaningful, memorable family activities to enjoy around the Christmas tree. Be sure to check out number seven… that’s my favorite one!

You’ll also be able to download your cute, cut-out Nativity scene, straight from the book, and, of course, enter the final Christmas Love Letters from God giveaway

If you live in the Grand Rapids area and you’d like any one of my six titles signed for a Christmas gift, please come to my Children’s Story-time at Baker Books on Thursday 15th Dec. 10.30-noon.

And here’s my favorite story from Christmas Love Letters from God!

Happy Christmas! (that’s what we say in England!)

The Big Surprise… and Christmas Love Letters Giveaway Number 7

I loved Christmas when I was a girl.

I remember when my mum discovered ‘catalogs’… the perfect, stress-free way to shop for Christmas for all eight of us. We would pore over the pages, and then she would order what we wanted.

One year was a big disappointment. It must only have been a few days before Christmas when she broke the devastating news to an expectant ten year old:

Glenys, I’m sorry, but your pogo stick didn’t arrive. You’ll have to choose something else.

I didn’t want anything else. I wanted a pogo stick so I could boing up and down the driveway to my heart’s content. I don’t even remember what I chose as an alternative.

But what I DO remember is coming downstairs that Christmas morning, waiting patiently outside the living room for all my siblings to line up, and then opening the door to see…

a POGO STICK!

It had arrived after all, and my dad had dutifully hidden it away in the back of his wardrobe so it wouldn’t be seen. (He’d also forgotten to tell my mum). How excited she must have been to be able to surprise me with that gift after all.

I was a happy little girl, and spent the next several months boinging away happily to my heart’s content, up and down the drive. It was the best surprise ever.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without surprises. A little baby, in a manger, who would grow up to be King of the Whole World… what could be more surprising than that?

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Traci Smith, a Presbyterian pastor in San Antonio, has a Christmas surprise for her two young sons. She wrapped up 25 books and beginning December 1st,  they’ll open one book a day until the 25th.

And can you guess which book they’ll save for last? It’s Christmas Love Letters from God. What a wonderful surprise for me to find that out!

Read her post and be sure to enter the Christmas Love Letters from God giveaway. You never know… you might win.

What a lovely surprise that would be!

Five Things I Never Imagined as a Children’s Author, and a Third Giveaway!

One of the most marvelous things about becoming an author is what happens next. And it’s marvelous because what might happen is totally unpredictable.

Time after time in this publishing journey, I have seen the principle of Ephesians 3:20 at work in my life. And don’t you just LOVE how The Message Bible puts it?

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

Oh, yes indeed! Here’s five things I never, ever, in my wildest or craziest of dreams, could possibly imagine happening:

  1. That when I sat down to pen the very first words of Love Letters from God, that book would one day become a series with its own brand.
  2. That I would walk in to a little British Primary school one May morning to see the walls literally covered with children’s love letters to God. IMG_2985
  3. That I would hear, time and time again, how adults have been impacted by these books, not just little ones. (Which I guess just goes to show that although my target audience is children, God’s target audience is the world.)
  4. That I would be able to dedicate Little Love Letters from God to my very first           granddaughter.
  5. That Christina Embree, a United Methodist Children’s Ministry Director in Kentucky would take Christmas Love Letters from God and work out the perfect way for families to use it to journey through Advent and into Epiphany together. (I am the author, and I have never thought of using the book in that way!)

I don’t know what your dreams are… for yourself, or your children, or your future, but what I DO know is this:

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

There is nothing that our great God cannot do.

So keep believing! Let the wonderful, mysterious Holy Spirit keep working quietly and deeply within you.

Keep believing.

Read about using Christmas Love Letters for Advent and enter the GIVEAWAY.

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So Who Would You Like to Have Tea With?

How fun to participate in an interview with a fellow children’s author…. Denette Fretz, who wrote two wonderfully entertaining books called Pirates on the Farm and Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door.

Now, with titles like that, I wondered if she might begin our conversation with a fun question. And she did. Her interview began:

First, let’s get to know more about you. If you could have tea with any author, whom would you choose?

Ooh…I replied….that is a hard choice. Can I cheat and have tea with a family of authors?

So who do you think I chose? Here’s a clue…they’re British (of course).

To find out, head on over to Denette Fretz where you can also enter the third Christmas Love Letters from God giveaway.

But before you leave, let me share with you a wonderful little story from Kate, who won our last Christmas Love Letters from God giveaway. The winners are chosen at random, but I really love what she plans to do with her book. In her comment, Kate wrote:

Our church family has a special single mother with twin daughters who will be receiving this book on their doorstep (secretly!) on Christmas Eve in hopes that this book will be part of their Christmas Eve traditions.

I just love thinking about this…

that on Christmas Eve, there’ll be a secret present, all wrapped up in love, sitting quietly on someone’s doorstep, just waiting to surprise them on Christmas morning.

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It reminds me that each of us can do our part in delivering God’s love letter to the world, and sharing the wonderful story of Jesus with those who need to hear it…

the story behind the greatest gift of all.

Enter the Giveaway at Denette Fretz