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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lori Nawyn & Jonathan Langford - Countdown to Christmas 2009

19 Days until Christmas!

Lori Nawyn has published five short stories in four seasonal collections, including: The Magic and the Mi
racle of Christmas- Vol. 1 & 2, Hearts and Hands: Stories of Hope for Mothers, and her most recent short story appeared in Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season (for which she also did the cover.) She's also published one Christmas gift booklet, Three Angels for Christmas, a cookbook, Peach 101: Recipes Your Mother Never Told You About, and numerous LDS and Christian themed art (greeting cards, scrapbooking papers, t-shirt, mugs, etc).

Lori has also illustrated the award-winning children's book, What Are You Thinking?, due to be released in January 2010.

Stolen Christmas is available at www.amazon.com. What Are You Thinking? can be purchased at http://whatareyouthinkingbook.com.

Learn more about Lori by visiting her website: Hearts and Hands, and her blog: Forethought and Purpose.

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

LORI: On Christmas Eve we put kerosene lanterns on the graves of friends and loved ones. Even with snow, wind, and cold, the lanterns usually burn until dawn. It is a very spiritual experience for our family as we remember the lives of those who we have been blessed to know. We generally snowmobile into the mountains to cut a Christmas tree-- this year we are still waiting for enough snow. Our neighborhood has a tradition of caroling on the Monday night before Christmas. Some years we've turned it into a caroling hayride. After we make the rounds to shut-ins we return to our house for hot chocolate. A few years ago, when my friend, Stacey, died on December 17, we all lit candles and stood in her yard and sang Silent Night. This year we are going to gather blankets to give to migrant children in our area.

LDSWBR: Lori, what books are on your Christmas wish list?

LORI: Favor Johnson: A Christmas Story by Willem Lange, illustrated by Bert Dodson, The Christmas List by Richard Pa
ul Evans, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Charles Santore, Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle by Jason F. Wright, Tidings of Comfort & Joy: A Classic Christmas Novel of Love, Loss, and Reunion by Davis Bunn, One Perfect Gift by Kathleen Morgan, The Shopping Cart Man by Douglas V. Nufer, Worldwide Ward Christmas Cookbook by Deanna Buxton-- how much more room do I have?

LDSWBR: If your wish list is anything like mine, it never ends. What books do you plan on purchasing/have you purchased as gifts for loved ones this Christmas? (Unless sharing would ruin the surprise!)

LORI: Christmas for a Dollar by Gale Sears, The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans, The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes by Deborah Pace Rowley, The Shepherd's Song by Larry Barkdull, An Angel on Main Street by Kathi Oram

ori, thank you for sharing with us. Your traditions honoring those who have gone on before us are very touching.


Jonathan Langford's first book, No Going Back, a novel about a same-gender attracted LDS teenager committed to staying in the Chu
rch, was released in October 2009.

No Going Back is available for purchase on www.amazon.com, www.zarahemlabooks.com, and BYU Bookstore. The cover price is $16.95, but it's on discount from both www.amazon.com and Zarahemla Books.

Visit Jonathan on his website: www.langfordwriter.com and his blog: www.langfordwriter.com/blog.

: Jonathan, tell us what favorite holiday traditions you and your family participate in every year. Will you be starting any new traditions this year?

JONATHAN: We usually go back to Utah to visit extended family. While there (and elsewhere), we love to sing traditional English Christmas carols from the Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols. This year, though, we'll have to do it without our oldest son, who's on a mission. Each year we also try to watch our video of an old PBS production of A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. I make shortbread, and candied pecans, and various other cookie-type things to give away as presents (at least, that's our excuse -- as you can see from my photo I don't do terribly well at not eating goodies). My wife makes Christmas cake for her father and aunt, although the rest of us despise it (including her). She also makes roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, which we all love.

My wife and I discovered Amano chocolate a few months ago -- a maker of prize-winning gourmet artisan dark chocolates in Orem, Utah, of all places. We're getting a few bars of that as presents for people (and for each other). Dark chocolate is good for writing (and grading): it's very intense, so you don't eat as much at a time. And it's, well, chocolate. Who could want something better than that?

LDSWBR: Is there anything dark chocolate isn't good for (besides my hips)? What books are on your Christmas wish list this year?

JONATHAN: Heavens! I haven't had much chance to read the last set I bought... I'm currently reading a fascinating historical book called Utah's Black Hawk War that I've been thinking of buying, just so that I have a copy. I'm also hoping to get a copy of Rift by Todd Robert Peterson and The Tree House by Doug Thayer. And I'd like to get some of the Honor Harrington books by David Weber. He's coming to a science fiction convention I hope to attend this next summer.

LDSWBR: What books do you plan on purchasing/have you purchased as gifts for loved ones this Christmas? (Don't spoil the surprise, though!)

JONATHAN: My wife wants a book on teaching algebra to young children. (She's a math professor.) I'm also thinking of buying a couple of copies of On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell, to give as gifts. And there's a picture book on temples by Chris Bigelow that I'm planning to get for my mother. Sadly, we're cutting down on purchases this year in general, as I'm sure plenty of other people are as well, so I'm not buying as many books as usual.

LDSWBR: Thanks again for taking the time to share with us, Jonathan. We appreciate it!

Do your holiday traditions involve honoring the loved ones who have passed on before? How do you remember those who are no longer with us at Christmastime?

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. We hang a small white stocking for our daughter, who lived for only a couple of hours on her birthday, Dec.17th. All season we put little notes inside sharing why we love each other. It is a bittersweet reminder of how fleeting our time together is on earth, and how grateful we are for the Atonement and Christ's birth.
    Thank you for the book reviews... my list of must-reads is growing.

  2. My sister and I, who are both single, spend Christmas together every year. We talk about the ornaments as we put them on the Christmas tree, sharing memories of "when we bought this one", "why we bought that one", and many of these memories involve choosing ornaments with our mother who passed away in 2000. ("Oh, remember how Mom loved this one?" is a common theme.)

  3. I love the cover art on Lori's books. Reminds me a lot of Mary Englebreit's work.

  4. Thanks, Rebecca. I love Mary and feel honored that my work reminds you of hers.

  5. I read Miracle of the Wooden Shoes to my children and cried. AGAIN!

  6. More interesting books! I'm glad to learn about all of these. We will usually purchase poinsettias at church to honor our deceased loved ones.

  7. We think about them by remembering when there loving spirits were on this earth.