Saturday, December 18, 2010

Anita Higman and Irene Brand ~ Interview + Giveaway!

*You can earn up to 6 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details*

Today authors Anita Higman and Irene Brand are telling us about their new book, Love Finds You Under the Misletoe. Anita has offered an autographed copy of this book to one lucky commenter.

Irene Brand and Anita Higman each have a Christmas novella in the new 2-in-1 compilation entitled, Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe. Also, both novellas are interconnected. Tell us about that process.

Was it difficult to connect your two stories?
Anita: Not at all. We had a brainstorming session by phone and by email and figured it out. Irene’s historical novella, An Appalachian Christmas is tied to my contemporary novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve. They are connected through the passing of a mistletoe ball through the generations. It was a delight to work with Irene. She’s very easy to get along with. In fact, we’ve become long-distant friends.

Irene: It wasn’t difficult. Actually, this may have been the easier part of the writing project. After we’d each read the other’s manuscript, I provided Anita with the information necessary for continuity, and she did the same for me. It was easy to insert the other story line into my novella.

Do you think you’d consider working on another project together?
Anita: Yes, in fact we’ve been chatting about working on another project together.

Irene: It would appeal to me. Although our writing styles aren’t the same, still the differences seem to improve the book.

How did you come up with the idea for your story?
Anita: My novels are more character driven, and so my characters tend to move the story along. The idea for Once Upon a Christmas Eve may have started with my interest in the fairy archetype. I loved the movies Cold Comfort Farm and Chocolat for that very reason. There was something enchanting about those two heroines as they whirled around, fixing people’s lives. I gave my main character, Holly Goodnight, some similar fanciful qualities.

Irene: My husband and I spent a few days in Owsley County, Kentucky, where my novella is located. After we met the local people, visited the site where the action would be, and learned about the local history, the story was easy to develop.

Out of your novellas, which characters are your favorites?
Anita: Beyond the heroine I loved Van Keaton, the author. He was flawed in a number of ways, but he had enough endearing qualities to make him loveable too. At least that is what I hope readers will feel.

Irene: The hero and heroine turned out to be great characters, but Granny, the hero’s grandmother was a lovable person – the kind of grandmother all of us would have liked. (I don’t remember either of my grandmothers.)

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
Anita: That no matter how impossible circumstances look, God can work all things for good.

Irene: That even when a romance seems hopeless, true love can overcome any barrier.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
Anita: I’m usually up at 5:30 to have breakfast and a devotion time with my husband. Then I go up to my office, reply to emails, and start on my writing. I stop for lunch, run a few errands, and then to go back to work again. I don’t watch TV in the evening, but I do treat myself to a new movie or two on the weekends.

Irene: My husband and I get up at 5:45 each morning. While he shaves, I prepare breakfast. We also have a devotional period before we eat. We’ve used THE SECRET PLACE, our American Baptist devotional material, since we were married. We have a list of different people for whom we pray at each meal time. Weather permitting, we take a 2-mile walk after breakfast. I open my e-mail next, then read the Bible and have private devotions. The last 3 days of the week, I prepare to teach my Sunday School lessons. I write as much as possible, but the time spent on my writing depends upon what else needs to be done. I’m very active in the work of my church – choir, playing piano, women’s work and teaching a Sunday School lesson. Unless I’m on a deadline, I don’t write after 6:00 p.m.

Where do all your ideas come from?
Anita: Ideas flood in from everywhere—while I’m running errands, or chatting with a friend, or drifting off to sleep. I can barely keep up with the flow. I have to write them down to use later.

Irene: From reading research books or fiction. I get ideas from talking with others, or news items on television.

What are you reading right now?
Anita: I’m reading, A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle.

Irene: I’m reading a Regency romance, one I’ve had on my shelves for a few years. First Season by Anne Baldwin

What are your five favorite things about Christmas?
Anita: The birth of Christ, of course. But then I love the music, the scents, the special foods, and family time together.

Irene: Local church activities, music, baking and visiting shut-ins with goodies, Christmas dinner with extended family, holiday movies on TV.

Where can readers find you online?
Anita: I would love for folks to drop by my website at


**USA residents only, please**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe!


*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.
+2 Within My Heart

+2 Read about and enter my other giveaway of The Plan. Please check this out! It is an amazing new ebook that you would certainly benefit from!
**You can earn a total of 6 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (December 18) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (December 23). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner either directly after choosing him/her or on Friday the 24th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.


Anita Higman said...

Thanks for featuring the book Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe. And thanks for including the interview! Irene Brand and I really appreciate it.

Have a merry merry Christmas!

Anita Higman

Carman said...

You're welcome! Glad I could help promote this book. :)

You too!

Brenda said...

I have become hooked on the Love Finds You series, would love to win. kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Brenda said...

I am a GFC follower +1 kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Brenda said...

I entered the giveaway for The Plan +1 kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Brenda said...

I entered the giveaway for The Plan +2

Brenda said...

I commented on A Path Less Traveled +1 kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Brenda said...

I commented on A Path Less Traveled +2 kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

Sounds like a great story and a unique way to blend them!
I would love to win this book!

I'm a follower and a subscriber.

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for featuring our book on your website. You have a VERY intersting selection. Good luck to you in every endeavor.
Irene Brand

justpeachy36 said...

Count me in on the giveaway. Looks like a great book.

justpeachy36 said...

I'm a GFC follower and an e-mail subscriber.

Carman said...

Thanks, Irene! That is so sweet of you. :)

Anne Payne said...

I would like to read this one. I think it's great that they are talking about another collaboration! Wishing a Merry Christmas to all :)


Anne Payne said...

I'm a follower and subscriber :)


amber said...

I want to be entered!!!

amber (afren07[at]gmail[dot]com)

amber said...

I also am subscribed to your blog.

amber (afren07[at]gmail[dot]com)

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in your contest. I like the idea of two stories in one book. Thanks

true_sheila at yahoo dot com

The Unsell Family said...

I've been trying to win this. Would love to read it.
~Jen Unsell

The Unsell Family said...

I am a follower.
~Jen Unsell

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read these stories.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Amanda Stephan said...

Under the Mistletoe....what more romantic title could there be?! Sounds terrific, and thank you for the interview!

kjv1611as at gmail dot com

Jennifer said...

Please enter me in to the giveaway!

I am a follower +1

jsmchwindt at cox dot net

Jennifer said...

I read about The Plan and entered the giveaway.

Thanks for the chance to win such amazing books.

jmschwindt at cox dot net

Kelly Massman said...

thanks for the great giveaway!

Kelly Massman said...

I'm following!
thanks for the great giveaway!

Sheila said...

Thank you for the wonderful interviews and giveaway! This book sounds like my kind of read. :)

showcasesisters at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the interview and giveaway! It's appreciated!
apeygirl at gmail dot com

Andrew said...

Awesome interview!

Thanks for the chance to win.

coolandrew123 [at] gmail [dot] com

Andrew said...

I am a GFC Follower.

coolandrew123 [at] gmail [dot] com

Jenna Wood said...

I'd love to be entered!

six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jenna Wood said...

I follow

six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Patsy said...

This book sounds great. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway.

holdenj said...

I would love to be entered for the book! I enjoyed Anita and Irene's comments too!

Katie said...

I'd LOVE to win this! Love the series and am having a hard time currently locating books in my area!

Leanne said...

I'd love to win this book!


Leanne said...

I subscribed to your blog.