Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Carole's story about taking a risk on love

Welcome Carole Towriss to the blog. She's here to talk about her holiday novel, Just Until Christmas and she's giving away a copy of her book too! 

Here's the blurb for Carole's book Just Until Christmas: Hope Aristov arrives in Brandon Beach to live in her former home for three months—just enough time to finish out a residency requirement so she can sell the house and not pay capital gains taxes. Then she’s going straight back to Bethesda, Maryland.

Ian MacKay owns the only grocery store in the one-square-mile beach town. When Hope blows into his store, he likes her looks, but not her attitude. As he gets to know her, he begins to like her, far too much when he finds out she’s only staying until Christmas.

As they spend more time together he fights to keep his feelings in check, especially when he learns of a job opening that would suit her perfectly. When her tells her about it, she accuses him of trying to control her life—like everyone else she’s known.

Can Hope take a risk, and open her heart to what God has in store for her? Can Ian do what's best for Hope, and let God take control, even if it means giving her up?

Fill out the book giveaway contest entry form on this Rafflecopter widget for your chance to WIN a copy of Carole's book: 

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Enjoy the interview with Carole! 
Interview with Carole Towriss, author of Just Until Christmas:

Alexis: Hope Aristov is the heroine of your story. Tell us about her. What’s she like personality-wise? What are her hopes and dreams?

Carole: Hope has given up on life. She’s been used by many people and now distrusts everyone, including God, and stays pretty much to herself.

Alexis: How did you create the setting of Brandon Beach? Is it purely fictional or inspired by a location in the real world? 

Carole: Brandon Beach is actually Bethany Beach, Delaware, although for story reasons I kept it in Maryland. My family used to visit there every summer. We haven’t been in a few years because it’s been hard to find a week when all mu high-schoolers have a free week in the summer. But my husband and I just went there for a weekend for my birthday. I love it—it reminds me of my home in San Diego.

Alexis: What is Hope’s career dream and how does meeting and falling in love with Ian MacKay affect her best-laid plans?

Carole: Hope at one time wanted to be a teacher, but has settled for writing technical manuals. He encourages her to reconsider teaching, which doesn’t sit well with her. Even though she’s miserable, change scares her.

Alexis: Tell us about your story’s hero Ian MacKay. What’s he like? What are his strengths and weaknesses? What would you say is his most prominent character flaw?

Carole: Ian is honest and hard-working and a hopeless romantic. His most prominent flaw is that he believes he can fix everything if he just tries hard enough, and sometime he tries a little too hard.

Alexis: Give us a glimpse of Hope and Ian’s meet-cute. What made it special?

Carole: Hope and Ian met when she came to his grocery store at the beach. Her attitude completely put him off when she insulted his store!

Alexis: What is it about Hope that makes Ian want to move past her attitude and get to know her better?

Carole: It’s obvious to him that’s she’s been hurt. He really just wants to get to know her better at first. She intrigues him.

Alexis: What is it about Ian that makes Hope’s heart warm?

Carole: His generosity and willingness to help without any expectation of repayment fascinates her, since so far in her life she’s met people who were only out for themselves.

Alexis: Hope is not a-risk taker by nature and staying in Brandon Beach to blossom her relationship with Ian would be a major risk, especially since she had her heart set on taking care of business then returning home to Bethesda, Md. But something about Ian makes her want to stay. How did you as the writer tackle these matters of the heart?

Carole: For specifics, you’ll have to read the story! But I’ll say that God’s Word had a good deal to do with it. 

Alexis: What did you find most challenging in writing this story? Why?

Carole: I'm not a risk-taker either, so I had to find something that would make me want to stay. And that was a tall order.

Alexis: How did your own faith in God affect your building the faith of your characters to a point where they trust God and His plans for their lives?

Carole: I drew on events in my own life that called for the most faith, or the growing of my faith, and tried to translate those feelings into writing. It’s hard to do that.

Alexis: What was your favorite scene to write in this book? Why? 

Carole: Kissing scenes! Because I making true love happen, even if only on the page.

Alexis: Complete this sentence: I am a writer because ______________and I like writing Christmas stories but sometimes I’d rather __________________. 

Carole: I am a writer because I have stories I have to tell and I like writing Christmas stories but sometimes I’d rather watch Hallmark movies and eat cookie dough.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Carole! Do you have any final comments?

Carole: I hope to have a sequel next Christmas, when we get to learn more about Ian’s roommate Rob. If your readers leave a comment and tell me about your favorite Christmas, we’ll pick one person to receive a free paperback copy of Just Until Christmas.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview! God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Author bio: 
Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, D.C. 

In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks, writes and waits for summertime to return to the beach. 

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