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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Annette Lyon- LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2009 Author Post

24 Days until Christmas!

Time for our first Countdown to Christmas 2009 author post!

Annette Lyon is the author of six novels and
one self-published grammar book. Her most recently published works are: Tower of Strength (March 2009), There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd (May 2009), and All is Bright: A Compilation of True Christmas Short Stories (available NOW).

Annette's upcoming releases include: Band of Sisters (coming March 2010) and a chocolate cookbook, as yet untitled, to be released in 2010. To learn more about Annette, visit her website: http://annettelyon.com and her blog: The Lyon's Tale.

To purchase Annette's books, click on the titles or book cov
ers above.

DSWBR: Annette, what favorite holiday traditions do you and/or your family participate in every year, and will you be starting any new traditions this year?

ANNETTE: My mother is Finnish, and my family lived in Finland when I was 10-13, so Finland is very dear to my heart. I grew up with a traditional Finnish sweet bread as part of our family's Christmas season, and I've carried that on with my children. It's called pulla, and it's flavored with cardamom. (Just the smell of the spice is enough to make my eyes glaze over.)

The great part is that for my children, it's not Christmas season until we've made pulla braids. They love making them AND eating them!

Another big tradition is playing Bing Crosby music and watching the movie White Christmas. As far as I'm concerned, it's not Christmas until I hear Bing singing. He's from my dad's generation, and when I hear his voice, I can hear my dad singing along in my head.

LDSWBR: What books are on your Christmas wish list?

ANNETTE: For years, I've been meaning to finish reading the trilogy about the black Saints. I've read the first two of the Standing on the Promises Series, but I'd love to get The Last Mile of the Way, by Young and Gray. The first two in the series were excellent.

I'm also an OED (Oxford English Dictionary) nut, and I've heard that Reading the OED by Ammon Shea is a great read.

I read tons of LDS fiction all the time, so for the most part, there isn't a lot of that on my wish list right now--I've already gotten that taken care of pretty well!

LDSWBR: What books do you plan on purchasing/have you purchased as gifts for loved ones this Christmas? (Unless sharing would ruin the surprise for someone- we wouldn't want that to happen!)

ANNETTE: Another tradition we have in our family is always giving the kids a book from Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve, so they'll each get one from us. I'm assuming they won't be reading this . . .

My son has asked for the next Alex Rider book Alligator Tears, by Anthony Horowitz, which was just released. (Alex Rider is sort of a teenage James Bond--my son loves those books.)

My 12-yr-old daughter will be getting Shannon Hales' Book of a Thousand Days (which I LOVED).

Next daughter down requested the one Dear Dumb Diary book she doesn't own yet.

And I haven't quite decided what book my youngest (age 7) will get.

I'm sure I'll buy more books for loved ones, but that's what's on the list so far!

LDSWBR: Thank you so much, Annette!

Listen to our podcast with Annette Lyon on www.ldswomensbookreview.com!

Annette's pulla braids look delicious! My family enjoys my mom's Cinnamon Pull-Aparts every Christmas morning. What traditional breads do you make every Christmas?

***Countdown to Christmas Contest***

LDSWBR will hold a drawing on Christmas Day for a $25 eGift Card from Deseret Book, as well as a variety of books being offered by some of the LDS authors that will be featured on the blog. Simply post a thoughtful comment on the Countdown to Christmas author posts to enter. Here are the rules:

  • LDSWBR reserves the right to decide what determines a "thoughtful" comment.
  • Only one comment per person per "Countdown to Christmas" author post will be entered into the drawing. This allows the potential for 24 entries per person at the end of the contest. Feel free to comment more than once per post if you'd like, but only one comment will be accepted as an entry.
  • Contest ends at 12:00 Midnight MST on December 24, 2009. Drawing winners will have until 12:00 Midnight MST on December 31, 2009 to claim their prize. After that time, another name will be drawn to receive the prize.
  • Book prizes can only be shipped within the contiguous United States.
Books that have been generously donated by the author for drawing prizes:
  • Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena
  • Hidden Branch by G.G. Vandagriff
  • Altared Plans by Rebecca Talley
  • A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell (includes a bonus copy of Michele's Christmas booklet, A Candle in the Window)
  • Her Good Name by Josi Kilpack
  • MISSING by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
  • Famous Family Nights by Anne Bradshaw
  • Love Letters of Joseph and Emma (autographed copy) by Angela Eschler
  • Family Home Evening Adventures by Rebecca Irvine
  • Counting the Cost by Liz Adair
  • Shudder by Jennie Hansen
  • Mormon Mishaps and Mischief by D.N. Giles & C.L. Beck
  • Dawn's Early Light by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis
  • The Fairy Thorn (brand new release!) by Dorothy Keddington
Thank you so much!


  1. What a fabulous spotlight / q&a. I love Annette and you guys asked some fun questions.

  2. This site is always good for a spot of me time during the day, now it is a little Christmas fun. I have one book left to buy our christmas book, maybe your site can help me decide. Our tradition is that every year since we got married I have given our family a Christmas book we open and read on the eve. Then we journal in the front (sometimes back too) cover. So now we have some great books and a Christmas history .

  3. Jenni,
    I don't know if you read my latest book review(On "Why Not Because I Said So") about a book called, "An Angel on Main Street," by Kathi Oram Peterson, but this would be a wonderful book to read on Christmas Eve. If you haven't read my review on the book, go do that and see if your family might like it. Thank you for always supporting us here at LDSWBR.

  4. We don't make any special Christmas bread, but my family usually made traditional Italian cookies (because we're Italian ;-) ) called pizzelles. Now my sister and I make them together. Well, okay, she makes them and I stack them as she takes them out of the pizzelle iron. It's like a mini assembly line. ;-)

  5. I make cranberry orange bread and cinnamon rolls to give to neighbors, and I try to save some for the family, too!

  6. Our family always opened pajamas on Christmas Eve, and I have continued it in my own little family.
    Giving a book to my kids on Christmas Eve sounds like a wonderful tradition. I might have to start that one!

  7. We have a ham dinner the night before and so we eat leftovers for Christmas breakfast.

  8. Hmmm no traditional breads for us but my DH has started making more breads with his bread maker and I bet he'll cook up something this year! He does like to make sticky cinnamon buns! He is the cook not me!

    Whew - I worked my way backwards through your posts! Thanks for the Giveaway Countdown (I'm posting a link at my blog - hope that is okay!)

  9. Absolutely! It's been great reading all of your comments, Martha :).

  10. We have cinnamon rolls on cold weekends in the winter. I absolutely love Annette's books.