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Monday, December 7, 2009

Angela Eschler - Countdown to Christmas 2009

18 Days until Christmas!

Angela Eschler's first book, Love Letters of Joseph and Emma (cover art by Liz Lemon Swindle), was released October 2008. She's currently working on two inspirational books for women.

Love Letters of Joseph and Emma is available for purchase at Seagull Book, Deseret Book and Barnes & Noble.

More about Angela: Angela Eschler is a freelance editor and writer with ten years experience in the field. Most recently retired as senior in-house editor with book publisher Covenant Communications, she has also worked for many other publishers, businesses, individuals, and universities in a freelance capacity. Her greatest expertise lies in editing fiction and nonfiction of various genres. She especially enjoys speculative fiction, women’s fiction, and informational and inspirational nonfiction. Angela is the founder and projects manager of Eschler Editing, a large team of skilled freelance writers and editors specializing in diverse fields.

Visit Angela on her website: AngelaEschler.com.

We had a great time with Angela on the LDSWBR podcast.

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

ANGELA: Something I love about my family is that they are very non-serious about gifts. It takes the materialism right out of Christmas when you know there aren't going to be any gifts you have to top. For instance, one year I got my dad my favorite movie (when I was living at home and could watch it all I wanted). So the next year for Christmas he bought me size 12 men's diving flippers (which didn't do anything for me since I don't dive, but he does, coincidentally.)

My brother always wraps up one gift in 10 layers of duct tape. My brother is a duct tape fanatic, so it's amusing to see what he'll wrap up each year and how--he devises new strategies each year to make it difficult to unwrap his gifts.

My family also likes to play off of family competitions or old jokes. One of those situations involves my husband--a red-meat-eating American---and me (I'm into organic, seasonal, raw food--basically, food my family thinks is weird.) So for last Christmas my brothers conspired to get my husband a pizza gift card and almost 10 lbs of bacon. I was horrified, but when I opened my gift it was a package of hummus and a cookbook for seasonal organic food. My brothers claimed it made up for what they gave my husband because I'd be torturing him with grilled celery leaves for the rest of the year.

My family is also into instant recycling---as in, my mom has been known to pass a gift down the couch, then have us pass the wrapping paper back to her so she can use it to sort-of-wrap the next gift she's got ready to go.

I've always just thought of Christmas mornings as sort of a silly family event, but this last year I realized how much I cherish our silly traditions. We got such deep snow Christmas morning (where I live), that we couldn't get out of the driveway to go to the family Christmas party. I was so upset I started crying--and kept crying for a couple hours--and then went downstairs and angrily did kick-boxing while my husband hid upstairs with his frozen-burrito Christmas breakfast (we hadn't planned anything for our Christmas because we'd intended to do it all with family; we didn't even have presents or any real food in the house).

Several hours later, I got a surprise when one of my brothers showed up in his 4-wheel drive. He did donuts up and down my alley until all the snow was flattened out, then dug my car out and escorted us to my parents' house where everyone had waited the entire day to open presents so I could be there. They even saved me a bunch of the Christmas feast, which is saying something if you know my brothers. Sometimes the Lord sends unexpected gifts (like 5 feet of snow!) to help you figure out how much you love your family.

LDSWBR: It sounds like you have a great family, Angela. So, what books are on your Christmas wish list this year?

ANGELA: The Hunger Games series, The Chaos Walking series (The Knife of Never Letting Go is book 1), The Biology of Belief (new science on the mind/body connection), Seeing with the Eye of Faith (Grant Von Harrison), Too many new LDS fiction titles to list, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

LDSWBR: You always have such interesting books on your read list, and usually some titles I've never heard of before. What books have you purchased/will you purchase for the loved ones in your life?

ANGELA: L.C. Lewis's new release in the Free Men and Dreamers series--book 3 (Fabulous historical fiction about the War of 1812--excellent for history buffs or fans who love the eipc war stories like Gone with the Wind).

LDSWBR: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us, Angela. Best of luck with your projects-in-progress!

Does your family have a non-traditional or quirky way to celebrate the holidays (like Angela's brother's tradition of wrapping a gift in duct tape)? Do you have a friend or family member who would do "donuts" in your driveway with their 4x4 so you could come to the family Christmas party (or would that person be you)?

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 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. Thanks for the lovely interview with Angela. She's one of my favorite people--a wise editor, a tireless cheerleader and a faithful friend. Wonderful questions! I loved all the details about her quirky family. I'm clearly going to have to up my "quirk" factor!

  2. Angela is also one of my favorite people! I just love her! I also really love her Mom. She was my son's Kindergarten teacher. I wish that I could be part of their fun family.

    Angela is one of the most intelligent women I know. It is such a pleasure to call her my friend. :)

  3. you guys are ridiculously kind! thanks again for everything you do for LDS authors!

  4. That was a fun interview! I love what her family does for Christmas.

  5. I posted your contest on my blog!

  6. Thank you Taffy! I added your blog, Taffy's Candy, to our blog list.

    Thanks for all the great comments!

  7. I think that the bacon was a great present. And this year I am going to use colored duct tape. All the better. --Angela's Brother Jon

  8. My DH likes to put coal in at least one stocking each year! I like the duct tape idea! I tend to go the easy way and use bags or predecorated boxes!

  9. We sometimes celebrate holiday traditions from around the world.