Wednesday, August 21, 2013

That Winning Feeling - A Shaker Christmas is Here

When the delivery guys bring me a carton and I open it to see a new book spill out, I feel like a winner. So I'm giving away a copy of the just arrived Christmas at Harmony Hill to share that winning feeling. Keep reading to see how to enter your name in a drawing.

As a fiction writer, I spend day after day with my fingers on a keyboard and my mind in a world that doesn't even exist, putting words into the mouths of imaginary people. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get the story told.
But then that great day comes when the new book lands on my doorstep, all dressed up in its beautiful "meet the world" clothes. 

Yesterday I got to experience that fun day with my Shaker Christmas book, Christmas at Harmony Hill. The official release date is September 15, a birthday present for me, but it could be the book is going to sneak into stores a few days or weeks early. I personally am not going to admit to being a year older until the actual day, so the birthday is not coming early. Just the book. LOL. 

I've never written a Christmas novella before. I've had Christmas scenes in my books. One in Orchard of Hope, the second book in the Heart of Hollyhill series. That reissue will be out in another month. I love having books come out, but this year it's kept me hopping. I also wrote a Christmas scene in the Rosey Corner book I just finished. All kinds of interesting things can happen around a Christmas tree or in the case of the Shakers, in a Shaker village.  

The Shakers didn't do elaborate Christmas celebrating back in the 1800's. They generally had a worship service where they received imaginary gifts - thing like robes of love or baskets of blessings. But before Christmas they had a day sometimes called Sacrifice Day and other times called a Day of Atonement. On this day they were to seek out and ask forgiveness from any person they had wronged in the past year. They were also obligated to forgive and forget the wrongs done to them. I used that in my story as both of my characters, Sister Sophrena and Heather, had people in their lives they needed to forgive. 

I do hope readers will enjoy going back to Civil War times for my Christmas story. One of you can get an early copy to read since to celebrate these books showing up on my doorstep, I'm giving a copy to one of you who comments on this blog. I'll draw for a winner on Sunday. That will make two Sundays in a row I'm giving something away. Last week my mystery picture winner was Ann M. who said she wanted either Words Spoken True or Small Town Girl. I'm having trouble deciding which one to send her. Decisions. Decisions. Anyway, this week maybe you'll be the lucky winner. I won't have to decide which one to send you. You'll get Christmas at Harmony Hill. :) 

Just leave a comment. You can tell me if you've ever read a Christmas book. I'll be guessing that you haven't read a Christmas Shaker book - yet!

I'll also be giving away a book to someone who comes over to my guest post on Seekerville on Friday, August 23, and leaves a comment there. I'll be giving away Small Town Girl. That's a lively site with lots of comments, so I'm looking forward to talking to the readers there.

I always look forward to talking to you here. Thanks for reading.  

91 comments:

  1. It sounds like an amazing book! I'd love to win a copy. The email I use is LMarshall.Writer@Yahoo.com
    Thanks and best wishes with your new release. (Happy early Birthday!)

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    1. Thanks for your early birthday wishes, Laura. At my age I usually celebrate that birthday all month anyway. LOL. Hope if you get a chance to read my Christmas book, you'll enjoy the story.

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  2. I love reading Christmas books, Ann. Sometimes after the season, I'll buy a Christmas book that's still lingering on the shelf and make myself wait until at least the next November to read the book. So much fun! But you're right, I've never read a Shaker Christmas book. Whether I win or not, I'm sure, Lord willing, I'll be reading a Shaker Christmas book in the next couple of months!

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    1. Always great to have you drop by, Sue. I think it can surely be Christmas any time in the year, especially with my book that is more historical than tinsel and lights. Hope you'll like the story when you read it.

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  3. Yes I read Christmas stories and I would love to win this as I love your books also!
    I think it would be great to read this book about the Civil War and Christmas

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    1. Hi, Debbie. Hope you'll enjoy my Christmas story. It might be a bit different than others you've read. 1864 Civil War setting for one. Good luck in the drawing.

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  4. Good morning, Ann. You know me, I'm always interested in reading one of your "Shaker" books. And, to have one based around Christmas is so exciting. Can't wait to read it! And, by the way, I finished "Small Town Girl" last week on the way home from Texas. Wihsing you happy birthday (in case I'm off on another trip and miss it)!

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    1. Hi, Brenda. Hope you enjoyed Small Town Girl. You guys are traveling all over, aren't you? A fun time for you both, I'm sure.

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  5. I read Christmas stories, I like the one by Philip Gulley around Christmas time. I would like to read your book, never read a Shaker book before.

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    1. Well, Linda, it's time for you to change that and give one of my Shaker books a try. This Christmas one might be a good one to start on. :) Thanks for your comment.

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  6. I love reading Christmas books too! This one sounds wonderful. rlepree@musfiber.com

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    1. Hi Rachel. Thanks for commenting and letting me know you love Christmas books. Hoping you will like mine when you get a chance to read it. It might be different than others you've read. I've been told most are contemporary instead of historical like mine.

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  7. Yes I read and love Christmas books. I haven't had the pleasure of having one and reading one in a very long time. So, winning one of yours would be a plus, all away around. Barbara Gauthier.

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    1. I like the way you think, Barbara. It would be a good time to read another Christmas book. :) Good luck in the drawing.

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  8. Oh my goodness...I've read so many Christmas stories that I have lost count. I love them! They make me feel good inside and guess what?....you don't have to just read them at Christmas time. The best time is whenever you pick a Christmas book up to read. I check after Christmas sales and so I always have Christmas books in my bookshelf. I am looking forward to reading Christmas at Harmony Hill.

    Blessings!
    Judy B
    judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Sounds like you keep the Christmas spirit all year long, Judy. And that's the way to do it! I hope you'll like reading Christmas at Harmony Hill. It's always good to see your comments here and on Facebook.

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  9. I would love to win your new Christmas book. I love Christmas stories. Barbara Gauthier.

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  10. Yes I love reading Christmas Stories, I wait until the cold starts to hit, then crack open a Christmas book...I seem to get into the book better when its the season, of the book..
    I'd love to win your book, and be able to read it as the chilly days/nights are coming near here..Thank You
    bearangel0@yahoo.com

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    1. Hey, Kathy. Those chilly days will be here before we know it. I like having the Christmas book in hand, but I think I'll cling to the warm summer sun a little longer. Plenty of ice and snow in my story though.

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  11. yes i read Christmas books and i would love to win this book i love to read them all year long n no i havn't read a shaker Christmas book but would love too. ida davis Houswife@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Ida. Thanks for your comment. I'm hoping you'll change that about not having read a Shaker Christmas book before long. Good luck in the drawing.

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  12. Sounds like a wonderful story - Christmas, civil war time, shaker village setting, and learning forgiveness all rolled into one! Can't wait to read it

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    1. Like the way you lined out the story details, Kim. Sounds good enough for me to read again. :)

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  13. Sounds like such a wonderful book.
    So would love to win it!
    I am such a book junkie!
    CherylB1987@Hotmail.com

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    1. Book junkies are a writer's best friend. So good luck in the drawing, Cheryl.

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  14. Ann, I'm like you... I am NOT a year older until the actual day of my birthday and not a day before! ;) Happy early birthday also!!
    I love Christmas books... maybe because I LOVE Christmas so much! Such a wonderful time of blessing others with gifts and remembering the birth of our Saviour - and Christmas stories share a little of that goodwill, love, and peace which makes them special also.
    I would love to win this, but it's okay if I can't be in the draw as I'm 'international', but you never know if you don't try, right? ;)

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    1. Hi, Noela. It's always good for you to drop by here. But as to birthdays, I'm adopting my preacher's theory on them. He has a saying that his favorite birthday is his next one!

      So glad you love Christmas books. Hope you'll enjoy mine and if you have an e-reader, I can send an e-copy internationally. Let's see if you are the lucky winner first and then we'll talk. :)

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  15. I love reading Christmas stories! I am sure it would be a delight to win a copy of your book. Thanks for the opportunity. ibakecakes4you@aol.com

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    1. I'm thinking I'm talking to someone that not only loves Christmas stories, but loves Christmas baking. Thanks for dropping by.

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  16. I read Christmas stories and would love to win this one. Angela from KY
    angelachesnut246@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Angela. Always great to have a fellow Kentuckian stop by with a comment. Good luck in the drawing.

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  17. No Ann .. I've never read a Shaker Christmas book.. but I sure would like to. Christmas books help me get in the *spirit* !
    Faye Simer

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    1. Hi, Faye. Maybe you'll soon get a chance to read that Shaker Christmas book and get in the Christmas spirit. The Shakers certainly worked hard and danced hard to bring down the spirit.

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  18. I love reading Christmas themed books of all kinds. :) Christmas and Civil War always makes me think of LITTLE WOMEN. Can't wait to read this one too.

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    1. Hi, Ann. It's been so long since I've read Little Women, that I've forgotten some of it. Maybe I should revisit that classic. I do remember it made me cry. Could be my Christmas book will cause a tear or two to flow too. My editor said she cried.

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  19. I love reading Christmas themed books and will love read yours.

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    1. Great, Wilani. I do hope you'll like my story.

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  20. Linda D. McFarlandAugust 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I enjoy reading Christmas books anytime of the year. I also enjoy reading books about the Civil War. I live near Gettysburg, PA & find that part of our history fascinating. Love your contests & know that someday I will win! Have a blessed week! Linda
    dmcfarl101(at)juno(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Linda. And I do believe you will win one of these days! Glad you like Christmas books and Civil War books. That puts my book right there in your "like" category.

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    2. Linda D. McFarlandAugust 22, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Ann, What a special friend you are to take the time to answer/comment on each comment left. It makes it so personal. You're the best! Blessings in abundance...Linda

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  21. I love reading Christmas stories. They make you feel all warm and cozy and bring back memories of Christmas' past. Congratulations on the early book release and Happy "Early" Birthday.

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    1. Thanks for the early birthday wishes, Dee. And the congrats about the book. My Christmas story is way in the past - set in 1864, but I hope you will enjoy it when you get a chance to read it.

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  22. I would love to win a copy of this book, I have enjoyed your "Shaker" books.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Wendy, for reading my Shaker books. I wasn't sure I'd be able to write a Shaker Christmas story, but I think it turned out okay.

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  23. I have never read a Christmas book but I am sure if you wrote it I would love to.

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    1. Whew, at last somebody who won't be comparing my Christmas story with other Christmas stories. :) And I do hope you'll enjoy it, Amanda.

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  24. This sounds like a wonderful book! I love to read Christmas novellas and last Christmas I read Cindy Woodsmall's Christmas In Apple Ridge (3 in one novellas collection). I'm very much looking forward to reading Christmas At Harmony Hill.

    Katie Johnson
    johnsonk133ATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Thanks so much, Katie, for coming over and leaving a comment. I hope you'll add my book to those Christmas books you've enjoyed reading.

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  25. Yes I have read many Christmas books over the years. I am particularly interested in the Civil War book as my husband and I do Civil War reenacting!

    Be Blessed,
    Pam Friedler
    pfriedler@rochester.rr.com

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    1. I'll hope I got the Civil War history sort of right for you, Pam. My heroine started out as a washerwoman with the troops. That might not be a role you've ever played in the reenactments, but then again it might be. Hope you'll like my story when you get a chance to read it.

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  26. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. Good luck in the drawing.

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  27. I would love to win your Christmas. Love Christmas and all the family & friends gatherings.

    seraphinangel7@aol.com

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    1. Christmas is a great time for family, isn't it, Juanita? Family comes to play in my story too even though the Shakers didn't believe in the traditional family unit. Good luck in the drawing.

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  28. I would love love to win your new book I have in my collection all the other shaker books love reading about Harmony hill, Jus finished reading Angel sister a great read. Keep on writing ann and I will keep on reading nd sharing your sit. Thanks for the contest. Victoria Concepcion vcprincess@comcast.net

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    1. Hi, Victoria. So nice of you to have collected all my Shaker books. I appreciate you giving my other types of stories a try too. I like writing different sorts of stories and I appreciate readers willing to give those different sorts a try. I hope you'll enjoy Christmas at Harmony Hill.

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  29. Love Christmas books. Your book sounds great. Can't wait to read it. And thank you for opportunity to win it.
    Janna
    brs882(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Janna. I appreciate your kind words. Good luck in the drawing.

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  30. I have read several Christmas books and always love reading about the holidays. I would love a chance to read this book. centraleast2 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, centraleast2. The Shakers did observe the holiday and it was interesting researching that era of history. Hope you will be a chance to read the story.

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  31. I have never read a Shaker book (I hear the tsk tsk s happening as I type). I have just been 'introduced' to you via Facebook/Twitter/Blogger etc..... I think a few months ago & have all your books on my wishlist on Amazon, just have not hit the buy button..... I am looking forward to reading them.... email: lpmorin726 at gmail dot com

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    1. Well, Lillian, I hope you will change that in the weeks to come. But I'd never tsk tsk, because I know you've been reading some great books. Glad you've checked out my books and put them on your wish list. Maybe you'll hit that buy button one of these days. Or could be, you might win one!

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  32. I like most everything about Christmas; church services, Christmas presents, people happier than they are at any time of the year and treating people better than they usually do, and sitting in the living room in the dark with only the Christmas tree lights on thinking about how many ways God has blessed us in the last year. I like Christmas so much that I've started each book in one of my series with Christmas caroling and a Christmas party. Except for the weather, it would be nice if every day was like Christmas. Ann, I know your readers are excited to have another of your books, and you'll just have to suck it up that it coincides with your fortieth birthday.

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    1. Hey there, Steve. I was surprised when you showed up with a comment, but glad you dropped by. You've got some good things listed about Christmas. I'm sure your readers enjoyed your Christmas themes in your books.

      And so you think I'm passing by 39! See you Saturday at the Gathering of Authors in Frankfort.

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  33. Oh Ann I would be thrilled to win your Shaker Christmas story anytime of the year. I love the magic, decorations, lights, reindeer, snow, and especially Jesus!!!!! I can put myself in the books and feel the magic of it all. I could celebrate all through the year, I love it so much!!!!! Marsha Steelman.

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    1. Love the things you love about Christmas, Marsha. What fun that you're ready to celebrate all year long. I have to work up the energy for shopping, but I do like the Christmas spirit. Good luck in the drawing. Always fun to hear from you.

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  34. I read Christmas stories. Especially in the summer, it's a reminder of family get togethers.
    i'd like the oppertunity to win this book.
    Thanks
    korell62@aol.com

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    1. It's fun that you like to think snow and Christmas in the summer, korell62. Wishing you luck in the drawing.

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  35. I love to read about the ways others celebrate Christmas.
    Colleen Bartell
    colleen.bartell@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Colleen. Thanks for stopping by. It is interesting reading about other ways of celebrating Christmas. The Shakers did observe the holiday with worship and a day off work.

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  36. I think what I like best about Christmas stories are the fact that most people practice "good will" then and help others....I also love SNOW and while, not all Christmas stories have snow, many do!
    Rhonda
    rhonda_nash_hall@comcast.net

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    1. Hi, Rhonda. My story has snow so we're good to go. :) Hope you'll find some good will in there too.

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  37. I can only imagine how you feel. I know how I feel when I buy a brand new book from a favorite author. :) It's like a Christmas gift. The outside is beautiful, but the real gift is between the first and last pages. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.
    Pat Aman

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    1. Hi, Pat. You're right about the best part of a book being between the covers. Hoping my story will be one you will enjoy. And I've felt that about a new book I've bought too. I used to give myself a book for my birthday and then take a day off to read it.

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  38. I LOVE Christmas themed romance books. It's my favorite time of the year and there's just something magical about a Christmas romance. I have read dozens but never a Shaker Christmas. It would be great if this was the first. :)

    I LOVED your book Words Spoken True. It was a fabulous book. :)

    Thank you for giving away a copy of your new book.

    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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    1. Aww, thank you so much, Wanda, for reading my book Words Spoken True. I appreciate that and I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. I liked the romance and loved Blake. So glad you enjoy Christmas stories. I'm hoping you will like mine too, but it might be a bit different from others you've read.

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  39. I love Christmas books. I Haven't read a shaker Christmas book. I like to read Christmas books in July and August when the weather is hot because it makes me feel cooler. I sure hope that I win.

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    1. Sharma, maybe you'll get to read that Christmas Shaker book soon. :) So reading about snow and cold is like an internal air conditioner for you? Good idea.

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  40. Hello sweet Ann. Congratulations on receiving your book. I hope to be lucky enough to win this Christmas book. I do love Christmas books. But, can always use one more. Please put my name in. Hope things are going ok with you, and your sweet mom. Love and GOD bless. Lots of competition here.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Maxie. Always fun to see your comments here. And can't we all use one more book to read? Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers for Mom and me. Things haven't been going so well this week, but we're struggling along.

      You're right about that competition. Lots of folks are interested in Christmas books. That's good news for me!

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  41. Ann Congrats on receiving your Christmas book . I love to read Christmas books . I would love to win your Christmas book . Thanks for the giveaway .
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Elizabeth. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll love my Christmas book too when you get a chance to read it.

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  42. I love to read Christmas books . I would love to win this
    Christmas book . Thanks for a giveaway .
    Shirley B

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    1. Hi, Shirley. I haven't read many Christmas books myself, but I'm hearing how all of you love them and thinking I need to read more of them.

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  43. I love to a Christmas books . I would love to this Christmas book . Thanks for a giveaway
    Shrley B.

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  44. I love reading Christmas books. I read them all year long. It's interesting to see the different ways of celebrating and beliefs of those characterized in the Christmas novels. Thanks, Ann, for offering a giveaway of what looks to be a wonderful Christmas story!

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    1. Hi, Nancee. It was fun talking to you over on Seekerville too. Very busy day for me. I hope you'll enjoy reading about how the Shakers celebrate Christmas.

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  45. Unfortunately, I have never read a Christmas book so yours would be my first one. I would love to win your book, it would look good in my library next to your other Shaker books.

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    1. Definitely, Shaun. It would look good next to my Shaker books. :) It's a nicely packaged book. I'm hoping everybody will like the story too!

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  46. I love to read most books.
    Christmas books in the sumer time make me feel cooler as I read about winter scenes. Breaks up the hot summer nights a little. LOL Mind over matter thing you know.
    Christmas was always a special time around our house growing up. I love reading about how others celebrate the seasons and christmas eapecially.

    Happy birthday and God Bless

    sparkles5775@yahoo.com

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    1. Well, you might get the chilly feeling when you read mine then, Cheryl. Got a few snowy and icy scenes.

      Hope you do enjoy the story when you get a chance to read it.

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.