24 November 2011

Focus on Christmas with Trish Perry and Debby Mayne.

Please welcome Trish Perry and Debby Mayne co-authors of Love finds you on Christmas Morning. Today I am starting my Focus On Christmas series and come December there will be two posts a week. Thanks for being on my blog today and I hope my readers enjoy reading about your experiences.

1.   What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?

Trish: My family members are always so busy all year and simply don’t get enough time together. But at Christmas we drop everything to be together. Those who need to fly home, do. Even at my age, I’ve only experienced one Christmas when a sibling couldn’t join us. So I associate Christmas with family time—and never enough of it!

Debby: Like Trish, I associate Christmas with family, no matter where I live. We've had some additions to the family over the past few years with my daughters getting married and grandchildren coming on to the scene, so the joy is compounded.

2.   Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?

Trish: My immediate family always tries to attend the evening Christmas Eve worship service at church, after which we go out for dinner at a lovely restaurant. And on Christmas morning, up until recently my father has always played “Santa,” in that he handed out each present under the tree, one at a time, with great fanfare about who was giving the gift to whom. A few years ago, my son took up that mantle, which I assume he’ll wear for years to come. And not a single gift is given without the receiver getting up and giving a hug and a thank you to the giver. (We really know how to spread out the event.)
(Jenny here My dad use to give out the gifts under the tree also and when he died my brother took over)

Debby: My family attends Christmas Eve services, and then we go home and have pizza. Most of the time we open at least one gift before bedtime. It's getting increasingly difficult to maintain traditions with one of my daughters living so far away and the other likely to move soon.  

3.   Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?

Trish: “O Holy Night” makes me want to cry every time I hear it or sing it. The emotion and drama at that first chorus—“Fall on your knees”—just blows me away. Such a perfect image of how best to react to the birth of Christ.
(Jenny again this is one of my favourites also ever since I first heard it on Young and The Restless many years ago)

Debby: I love "Silent Night" because it's such a peaceful song.
 (Jenny again I love this song also its special)

4.   If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?

Trish: On a selfish level, it might be fun to relax and be catered to by a full kitchen staff, freeing me and my siblings up from dashing about preparing food and trying to time everything well. On a more philanthropic level, I remember a few decades ago when I belonged to a young professionals civic group. We raised funds from local businesses to give toy-shopping certificates to kids whose fathers and/or mothers were in prison—they wouldn’t otherwise receive anything at all for Christmas. I’d love to do that again, to get a chance to watch their excitement on Christmas Day.

Debby: I would have all my family together in a secluded cabin or on a cruise, without the distractions of work or anything else that pulls people's attention from what's really important.

5.   Do you have any special memories of Christmas?

Trish: I had a sister who passed away nearly 24 years ago. As a child she had a lot of physical health issues, and when she was nine (and I was six), she had a serious surgical operation shortly before Christmas. We thought she would spend Christmas in the hospital, but they let her come home just for the day. She was so frail, but she was so happy, as were we. When she passed away as a young adult, it was mere days before Christmas—she had even bought us gifts. Those two Christmases are my most memorable and poignant ones.

Debby: My favorite memories are those from when my children were small and with my granddaughter who was one and a half last year.

6.   What is a typical Christmas Eve and or Christmas day for you.

Trish: My parents still live in the house they bought when I was an adolescent. We all gather there, most of us bearings not only gifts but partially prepared contributions to the big meal, as well as fun hors d’oeuvres we’ve each experimented in making (or, for the cheaters, in buying). Both of my kids have other places they need to be after our celebration, so our tradition has become a late-morning celebration that stretches into the late afternoon, followed by a relaxed unwinding while people slowly depart for their other obligations. I’m always amazed at how quickly it’s over!

Debby: We attend church on Christmas Eve and eat without worrying about diets. The children play with their toys, and we watch Christmas specials on TV.

7.         Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see
or read each year?

Trish: I’m still a sucker for It’s a Wonderful Life. Considering how lonely people can get on holidays, I think that movie’s message—about the importance of every individual in the lives of others—is very uplifting. And my church’s Christmas Eve service usually involves a reading of parts of Luke’s gospel to retell the story of Christ’s birth through scripture. That, of course, is my favorite Christmas “book.”

Debby: I'm with Trish on It's a Wonderful Life, which has always been a favorite in our household. I also like to pick up the latest Christmas books and novellas to relax before I go to bed.
(Jenny again Debby I love reading the Christmas novellas also.)

8.         Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?

Trish: Answering your other questions has brought my mind in this direction: I pray that you all enjoy a blessed, beautiful Christmas, surrounded by loving family and friends. But I know all of us have times in our lives when holidays remind us of whom we miss; sometimes we can even feel alone. I pray that this Christmas you feel a strong, deep connection with our loving Savior who was born on this day. And I pray you know you are always loved, forever precious, and never alone.

Debby: I also pray for a blessed Christmas for all of you. Cherish your family and enjoy your children. Never take anything or anyone for granted, and stay focused on the Gospel as you enjoy this Christmas season.

Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written six inspirational romantic-comedy novels for Harvest House Publishers, as well as two devotionals and a nostalgic romance novel for Summerside Press. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She holds a degree in Psychology. Trish lives in Northern Virginia. She invites you to visit her at www.TrishPerry.com

Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.

Blurb for Love Finds You on Christmas Morning: 

Deck the Halls (Debby Mayne): In 1925, the wealthy William Tronnier becomes smitten with the lovely but penniless Lillian Pickard. Not one to give up easily, William pursues Lillian even though she does everything in her power to resist falling in love with a man from a completely different social class. As Christmas descends on the picturesque town of Cary, North Carolina, William plans to make Lillian a proposal she can’t refuse.
‘Tis the Season (Trish Perry): When personal chef Nikki Tronnier moves back home to Cary, North Carolina, she plans to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy back the family home built by her great-grandfather for his bride. But before she is able to make an offer, someone else buys the house. Just as she prepares for a fight, she learns that the very person who stole her dream is the man who has also stolen her heart. Unaware, handsome new owner, Drew Cornell, seeks Nikki’s help in restoring the home to its historic beauty in time for Christmas.

(Jenny again I have this book on order and can't wait to read it. I think it would be a great book to give away as a Christmas gift.)

Other books by Trish and Debby.

1 comment:

Miralee Ferrell said...

I loved reading this interview, as I know Debby and Trish personally and it was fun getting a peek into their home life and Christmas traditions. I love the new book and am looking forward to getting a copy, as I love your work, ladies!!

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