Friday, October 30, 2015

~Author Spotlight~ Anna J. Stewart

Posted by BookGroupies
This holiday season, warm your heart with 12 connected sweet holiday romances from 12 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1200 pages. Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.

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My Grandmother's Snowflakes by Anna J Stewart

There are always a few surprises with every story I write.  Sometimes they're character related (I had one walk on the page with a British accent...who knew?), sometimes there's a twist with the plot (I'm a fan of an unexpected arrival), and other times, like with BELLS ARE RINGING, some of my own holiday traditions make an appearance.

In BELLS ARE RINGING, included in A HEARTWARMING CHRISTMAS boxed set (on sale for only $.99 cents!), Marnie Wright and her sisters are spending their first Christmas without their beloved father.  All three of them were adopted out of different circumstance, but if there's one thing that binds them together, it's the love they have for their now deceased parents.

As we move through the sisters' stories, they're going through the family house, cleaning things out, organizing, and in a lot of cases, uncovering forgotten treasures that bring back fond memories. Marnie, as the new owner of the Bells Are Ringing Wedding chapel, is the perfect person to go through her mother's sewing and craft room where she comes across the hand-tatted ornaments her mother made. I had no idea my own favorite holiday ornaments would make an appearance. (I love being a writer!). I have a feeling there was a guiding hand.

Tatting is one of those "lost arts". It's a finer version of crocheting, both of which my own grandmother excelled at. My biggest regret is that I neglected to have her teach me how to tat before she passed away. I still have her needles and shuttles. I even still have the thread she used and of course, there's the collection of ornaments she made. The same ornaments I describe in Bells are Ringing. But I missed an amazing opportunity. Marnie and her sisters, fortunately, did not. It's nice when your fictional stories can transform your past.

When I first announced I wanted to be a writer, my grandmother was one of my earliest and most fervent supporters. She encouraged me, helped me, and never let me forget my dream. I think that's why I love those snowflakes so much. She really is a part of the story only instead of me, Marnie is the one who takes those ornaments and frames them for her sisters, so they'll be able to keep their mother and her creations close.  

So here's my holiday wish for you: that when you open your boxes of decorations you come across those treasures; the ones that remind you of all the wonderful times you spent with loved ones...and the beautiful times still to come.  Happy reading!


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