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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stephanie Black - Countdown to Christmas 2009

10 Days until Christmas!

Stephanie Black is the author of three no
vels. Fool Me Twice and Methods of Madness, her most recently published books, are both mystery-suspense novels. Stephanie is currently working on her next suspense novel, Cold As Ice (working title- she's not sure what the final title will be yet), that she is hoping will be released next fall.

Stephanie's books are available for purchase at Seagull Book and Deseret Book.

Visit Stephanie on her website: www.stephanieblack.net and on the blog: Six LDS Writers and a Frog.

LDSWBR: What favorite holiday traditions do you and your family participate in every year? Will you be starting any new traditions this year?

STEPHANIE: We put the Christmas tree up and start listening to Christmas music on the day after Thanksgiving (though some family members have been known to cheat and listen to Christmas music a little early!). "The Bells of Dublin," by The Chieftains is one of our favorite Christmas albums, and of course, Christmas music just wouldn't be the complete without the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Favorite Christmas movies include Elf and The Muppet Christmas Carol. This year we had hot chocolate while watching the First Presidency Christmas Devotional--we might have to make that hot chocolate a tradition.

On Christmas Eve, we have a dinner of seafood chowder and assorted crackers and cheese. The kids love pulling Christmas crackers (the kind that open with a bang and have a little trinket and a paper crown inside). The kids plan a Nativity play, and perform it while someone reads from Luke 2. My husband reads poems--"Jest 'Fore Christmas" by Eugene Field, "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus" by Ogden Nash and the incomprehensible and giggle-provoking Scottish poem "Cuddle Doon" by Alexander Anderson. The kids hang their stockings and then all go to bed together in one bedroom in a huge "nest" of blankets and sleeping bags they've created on the floor.

On Christmas morning, the kids can't wake us up until 6:30. We line up in order of age (youngest first) to see what Santa brought. Santa doesn't wrap the presents at our house; the gifts are arranged on couches and chairs. Under the tree are gifts from the family. We open those gifts one at a time, taking turns picking presents so we can all enjoy each others' gifts and not rush through it.

LDSWBR: What fun it would be to visit your house on Christmas Eve! Stephanie, what books are on your Christmas list?

STEPHANIE: The Maze Runner by James Dashner; Murder By the Book by Betsy Brannon Green; Altered State by Gregg Luke; To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

LDSWBR: What books have you purchased/will you purchase as gifts for loved ones this Christmas? (Unless it would spoil the surprise!)

STEPHANIE: Farworld: Land Keep by J. Scott Savage; the rest of the list isn't finalized, but the possibilities include something by Dostoevsky for my daughter who adores Dostoevsky; The Chosen and The Promise by Chaim Potok; How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, or the America's Test Kitchen cookbook.

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your Christmas traditions with us. As a fan of Celtic music myself, I had to look up "The Bells of Dublin." I'm listening to the sampling as I type this--looks like I'm going to be getting some new Christmas music :). Merry Christmas!

At the big Feil Family Christmas party, my aunt Wendy reads the poems, "Rindercella" and "Beeping Sleauty." While they are not Christmas-related poems, our Christmas party just isn't the same without them. What poems do you enjoy during the holidays, Christmas-related or otherwise?

Don't forget to nominate your favorite 2009 books by LDS authors for Whitney Awards by December 31! Can't remember what you read? Visit the LDS Publisher blog for a list of books published by LDS authors in 2009.

***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 & 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
  • Torn Apart (signed copy) by Diony George
  • Pursued: A Maggie McKenzie Mystery by Lynn Gardner
Thank you so much!


  1. My sister and I start by reciting "A Tale of China" during our High Kokolorum, then we take turns reading all our favorite poems in the old Childcraft books we grew up with. And when we run out of those, we pull out a book of poems called "Silver Pennies". Does anyone else know that book? It's out of print now, but it's a total GEM if you can find a copy! My favorite poem from that book begins with the lines, "God and the fairies, be true, be true! I am the child who waits for you."

  2. I never heard of the twisted? Fairy tales you mentioned! We used to read Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas eve.
    I just recently learned that seafood and fish are a common Christmas Eve dish. We always had sausage as kids which would keep till our Dad got home from doing shopping on Christmas eve!

  3. Her books seem like they have lots of twists and turns with suspense around every corner.

  4. Hmmmm, we are poemless during the holdidays. We may have to fix that.