Welcome to Leslea’s December update.
An online puzzle and giveaway, news, tips, and book reviews!
Each bimonthly update provides news about my writing, faith-based book recommendations for the whole family, and, to bring out your inner detective, I include an online puzzle.
This month’s game is not book related. This quiz gives you some clues to my favorite Christmas movies. Think you can match the lines to the movie? Send me your results and I’ll send you a pdf copy of Christmas Angel, my short story from the CatholicTeenBooks.com anthology Gifts: Visible & Invisible. Click HERE to play.
1.Quick Writing Update
I recently shared about Charting the Course with an online book club. It was such a fun experience. If you know of a bookclub that might enjoy any of my books, I’d be happy to join the discussion!
I had an amazing opportunity to chat with Andrea Bear and Jennifer Thomas on their new podcast Mourning Glory. This beautiful podcast deals with grief from a faith perspective. I shared about the recent loss of my parents and how writing has been helping me through the grieving process. The episode will air in January. I will share the details on my Facebook and Instagram pages.
2. Introducing… Meg:
Meg is a character featured in my short story Christmas Angel. It is available HERE, or can be found in the CatholicTeenBooks anthology, Gifts: Visible & Invisible.
3. Giveaway and Upcoming Sale
I’ve joined a few giveaways though Booksweeps. eXtreme Blindside joins 47 other books as part of this amazing giveaway, Holiday Spirit: Inspirational Fiction & Non Fiction! For more information, click HERE.
You can watch for the information on the other giveaways on my Facebook and Instagram pages.
Also, my publisher, Vinspire, will be running sales through Smashwords, starting December 15th. Again, when it becomes available, I will share the sales links on my social media pages.
4. CatholicTeenBooks News
Book Match: Take our book match quiz and we’ll match you up with some fantastic book choices!
Annual Collective Story: Last year, I joined fellow CTB authors Antony B. Kolenc, Corinna Turner, and Carolyn Astfalk to create a unique story for the Reading with Kids Podcast. Author Antony B. Kolenc started the story off and each of us added a new section. Except for the final author, we didn’t know the whole story until we recorded it for the podcast which aired on Christmas morning. The Collective Christmas story followed in the path of the Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol, with a CatholicTeenBooks twist.
We are currently working on this year’s edition. I haven’t seen the story yet but can’t wait to see what the other authors have created. The episode will air on Christmas Day on the Reading with Your Kids Podcast with Jedlie.
Watch my Facebook and Instagram pages for the release of this story, hopefully in the next few days.
5. Favorite Writing Tips
For fellow writers, here are a few writing tips that friends have shared with me.
Molly McBride and the Christmas Pageant by Jean Schoonover-Egolf
Kindergartener Molly McBride is so excited about Christmas and most especially the Christmas Pageant. When Molly’s innocent enthusiasm causes some problems, she learns a lesson in obedience. The Molly McBride books are fun stories with engaging illustrations and wonderful messages.
Margaret’s Night in Saint Peters by Jon M. Sweeney
Margaret is the Pope’s cat. There are several books about her adventures living in the Vatican. This story focuses on the events leading up to Christmas Mass. Margaret is overwhelmed by all the people roaming about the Vatican. Her natural curiosity piques at all the commotion and may just get her into some trouble. This is a cute book for kids that also tells a lot about the Vatican, St. Peters Basilica, and traditions of the Church.
The Crazy Christmas Angel Mystery by Beverly Lewis
This is the third book in the Cul-de-sac Kids series about a group of friends and neighbors. I have not read the previous books but was intrigued by the description.
When a new neighbor moves to the cul-de-sac, Eric begins noticing some strange happenings at the house. Determined to figure out the mystery, he enlists the help of his friends to do a little spying. This is a cute chapter book that shares some wonderful messages with children such as welcoming strangers, not jumping to conclusions, and with-holding judgment.
All I want for Christmas is the Girl Next Door by Chelsea Bobulski
Wow, was this book a delightful surprise. From the title, I thought it sounded like a cute rom-com Christmas book for teens. And while it certainly was that, it was also so much more. From the beginning, it seemed obvious where the plot was going, but I was thrilled that the storyline took me on a wild, sleigh-ride. This story about Graham and his unrequited love for Sarah Clark, was brimming with romance, witty dialogue, and cozy Christmas vibes. Add a sprinkling of faith, a dose of heartbreak, a sweet-as-candy-cane plot twist, and a deeply moving surprise, and you’ve got yourself a book that was impossible to set aside.
The Christmas Watch by Erynn Mangum
This is a cute ebook novella full of romance, family, and recognizing where God is leading you. If you enjoy sweet Christmas romances, this faith-based short story is one that will get you in the Christmas spirit.
Drinking with Saint Nick by Michael P. Foley
I haven’t tried all the drinks in this book, but my husband and I enjoyed a few of the cocktails in the original Drinking with the Saints book. This edition is set up as an advent book with stories about St. Nicholas and other saints. Different drinks are matched with the various saints, not only do you get to find out a bit about them on their feast day but you get a fun cocktail recipe. Also included in this book are toasts and blessings are included, as well as punch recipes for the younger family members.
Until next time, happy reading and Merry Christmas!