Before we get to my questions for Leslie, don't forget to check the end of the blog for Leslie's question to you. (There is a giveaway!)
Meet Leslie Lynch
Leslie lives near Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a feral-turned-sweetheart rescue cat. While not engaged in wrestling the beautiful and prolific greenery of her yard into submission, she flies small airplanes, loves the exuberant creativity and color of quilting and pottery…and, of course, writes.
Fascinating--right? And she flied for the Civil Air Patrol. How cool is that?
Let's talk about your latest anthology ROMANCING CHRISTMAS Volume II!
THE STORY BLURB
From sweet to spicy, friends to lovers, from cowboys to babies and puppies, this holiday anthology from 7 of today’s hottest romance authors has something for everyone. Toss in some unconventional romances and fairy godmothers—and, of course, some hunky military heroes—and you’ve got a Christmas collection that will warm the heart on even the coldest night.
Here’s a link to Leslie's blog, which has blurbs for all seven of the stories included in Romancing Christmas II:
READ A LITTLE, BUY THE BOOK
And here’s an excerpt from my offering in this set, CHRISTMAS GRACE the Christmas no one wanted to celebrate. With an unconventional romance and a pair of disasters that threaten to derail the holiday, three generations of mothers and daughters come together to remember what matters most.
Ella McKendrick stared at the hands-free phone on the worktable, the clay between her
“Mom, you’re seventy-four!” She winced at the way it sounded, and knew she was in for an earful. Glad to be the sole occupant of the co-op studio so no one would witness the tongue-lashing, she braced herself.
“And you’re fifty!” Gertie’s voice rose, sounding both garbled and shrill through the speakerphone. “What does that have to do with anything?” She punctuated the question with a harrumph. “They say it’s no different than stepping off your couch. Besides, I don’t have to ask your permission. I’m just informing you.” Her tone landed just shy of belligerent.
Ella let the wheel decelerate and lifted her hands from the rotating cylinder of malleable clay, her focus broken. She scratched her nose where an itch had decided to settle just after she’d begun centering, and left a smear of the cool, smooth mud. At least it would soothe the itch.
“I know that, Mom. I’m just concerned.” She inhaled, the earthy scent of the studio bringing its singular calmness to her heart. “Is it a buddy jump, where you’re tandem with an instructor?”
She could only hope. Visions of her mother plummeting to earth while tugging on the wrong cord sent a shudder through her.
Gertie sighed. “Yes, though I’d rather jump solo.”
Ella cleared her throat, searching for a diplomatic and supportive response. It wasn’t forthcoming, so she forced a bright tone into her voice and made up some words that sounded good.
“Well, if that was good enough for the first President Bush, it’s good enough for you.”
“He was an old man when he did it!” On a scale of one to ten, the affront in her mother’s voice was at least fifteen.
“That’s not what I meant. You’re not old. And you’re very active, which is excellent.”
“Active, schmactive. I’ve got a lot of living left to do, and I’m not about to do it from the sidelines.” A hint of desperation lurked beneath her words.
“Of course, Mom. I would never suggest otherwise.”
Memories of her dad’s unexpected death six months ago swamped Ella, and a lump rose in her throat. If the ache of his loss still sent a shaft of pain into her heart, how much harder was it for her mother? The woman had lost her life companion.
Ella’s parents had been devoted to each other, high school sweethearts who had kept their love vibrant for over fifty years. Unlike her own marriage, which seemed to be on its way to a death spiral of apathy.
She swallowed past the sadness, and then filled the brief silence. “It’s not quite time for you to embark on a bucket list. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Well, I’ll be just fine.”
The chipper note in Gertie’s voice sounded a bit artificial, but Ella wasn’t going to press the issue. “So, would you like to come over for dinner?”
She glanced at the clock and made a quick calculation. She had planned to spend another hour throwing shapes that would eventually be mugs, but family trumped the co-op’s annual holiday sale. Never mind that she would have to find another block of hours to catch up with her production quota.
Muffling her sigh, she recalculated dinner. Instead of grilled chicken breasts, she could cut them up and make a stir-fry . .
Title: Romancing Christmas, Volume 2 – a holiday anthology, 2016
Series & book #: Romancing Christmas
This book follows Romancing Christmas (2014)
A LIGHTING ROUND OF Q&A WITH LESLIE LYNCH
NAN: How often to you get lost in a story?
LESLIE: When am I not lost in a story? I’m having even more fun with that question lately! I’m in the midst of a Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, and have been exposed to many books I would not otherwise have picked up. At this very moment, believe it or not, I’m reading Hamlet – and enjoying it. I would not have predicted that in a thousand years! Reading it, yes. Enjoying it? I’m not the only person surprised at that outcome! Seriously, over the past year I’ve read some awesome fiction from around the world along with some inspiring creative nonfiction (true stuff told using techniques of fiction: think Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, Tori Murden McClure’s A Pearl in the Storm, or Piper Kerman’s Orange is the New Black.) The bonus? I can tell my husband I’m not slacking; it’s required reading!
Nan: So much fun--but so much work. Congratulations on the writing program!
LESLIE: Ha! Action adventure, any day! Though it seems that the more contemporary fairy tales have lots of action and adventure…
NAN: What sound or noise do you love?
LESLIE: I love the sounds of nature, especially wind. It feels like anything is possible, unless, of course, the wind is at gale force or otherwise threatening. But at normal levels, it’s exciting, and fresh, bringing new beginnings.
NAN: What was the first story you remember writing?
LESLIE: I don’t remember the first story I wrote, but I used to force my poor little brother to act out plays, and I gave myself the name “Victoria.” My second grade teacher tried to shame me into admitting that I was making it up, but I held firm. My name was Victoria, and I wrote plays. (I have no more idea where I got that than where I got the ideas for the plays!)
Nan: Now I'm going to call you Victoria!
NAN: What’s it like to work with other authors in an anthology?
LESLIE: It’s great fun. Since most of us have “known” each other for a couple of years, it’s an easy group, very cohesive, very talented. We each have strengths, and the rest of us pitch in to help in ways that we are able, whether it be formatting or setting up a blog tour. Truly, there is something for everyone in this anthology; give it a try. At only 99c (for now), it’s a bargain, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the stories. Who knows? You might discover a new favorite author in the process!
NAN'S GOTTA ASK: What motivated you to write this story?
LESLIE'S GOTTA ANSWER: I drew on a number of life experiences. My mother’s widowhood, and watching her navigate her way to the new, post-marriage woman she was forced to become; my own experience as the sandwich generation (though my husband would never have tried to push me into the situation with which Ella had to deal!); my daughter-in-law’s high risk pregnancy… So while none of this is autobiographical, it is based on situations with which many women can identify.
FIND LESLIE LYNCH:
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Leslie_Lynch_/Previous GLIAS Interview
CHRISTMAS PEACE – in the works, but thanks to the workload of the MFA, is on the back burner for the moment. Next time I visit Get Lost in a Story, I hope to have it done for you!
Thanks so much for joining the crew for the day!
Thanks so much for joining the crew for the day!
LESLIE LYNCH WANTS TO KNOW: Since Thanksgiving is less than a week away, what are your favorite traditions or foods that only come out during the holidays? I absolutely adore whole-cranberry sauce, but nobody else in my family does. One can will last me more than a week because I don’t have to share! DRAWING WILL BE OPEN THROUGH SUNDAY!
Commenters - is giving away a code for an audiobook of Christmas Hope (Audible.com)