Let's all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas
The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house...
Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .
When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.
PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository
Link to my review
Q: Can you tell me how you came to write this story?
A: In my work in cable television programming, I had opportunities to meet high-profile politicians, leaders of national organizations related to health and disabilities, but the most interesting people I met were differently-abled people who were doing extraordinary things with their lives. Their lives taught me about focus, living life fully, fulfilling your purpose in life, and life-defining moments. I wanted to write a story that would incorporate some of those themes.
Q: What is the key takeaway from the book?
A: There are two themes that run like interwoven ribbons through the book. The first is the idea of life-defining moments. The main character, young Julia, has a life-defining moment when she meets Mr. Henry Lafferty the Second and the second. And the second theme is that one small act of kindness can make a big difference.
Q: So true! Which character is most like you and why? And was it intentional?
A: I would probably say that young Julia is most like me, and it was not intentional. There seems to be a bit of me at each of the characters, but as a child, I was inquisitive like Julia. And when I set my mind to something, there was no stopping me — a stubborn streak that has served me well and caused me some pain. God is still working on that part of me.
Q: I understand about the stubborn streak! Did you base Emerald Crest on an actual mansion?
A: Emerald Press is entirely fictional, but it was a magical place to spend my time writing the book. I actually sketched out a floor plan, designed the space, and decorated the rooms. I knew the scene from every window, and I knew the hollow sounds of its halls, and then the splendid evening when Christmas returned to Emerald Crest.
Q: What would you be doing if you weren't an author?
A: I've always wanted to write since I was a teenager, but my career path took a different direction. Finally in my retirement, I got my dream job. So, if I were not writing, I'd be more involved in community service, and I'd be leading more mission trips to Central America.
Q: What advice you have for new authors?
A: Read the classics, and write, and read some more, and write some more. Learn what you can about the changing publishing business and always be honing your craft.
Q: Great advice. What can you tell me about your current project?
A: "The Rockwater Suite" series is my focus right now. The first book, Return of the Song, was released in September with four more to follow. The second book, Freedom of the Song, will be released this spring. The third book is finished, but I'm ready to start the fourth in the series. I was able to take a trip to Austria this past summer to do much of the research I needed to do, so I'm sitting on G, waiting on O to GO with book four after the holidays.
Q: What is something about you that would surprise your readers?
A: I think it might surprise my readers to know that I enjoy fishing. There is just something about sitting on the bank with my pole in the water that is restful and at the same time exciting. I always anticipate getting a bite and catching the big one, but if I don't catch him, I still have been outside enjoying God's creation.
Q: What book do you wish you'd written and why?
A: I wish I had written Gone with the Wind. It is set my home state of Georgia, and people are still reading it nearly one hundred years later.
Q: Do you have any writing rituals?
A: Sitting down in my writing chair with a cup of tea and opening my laptop and I move into my right brain in a few seconds. I suppose there's nothing unusual about that.
Q: What writers have inspired you?
A: George MacDonald is a master storyteller of an age gone by, and I have all of his translated books on my shelf. If C.S. Lewis says that he would never have written anything had it not been for the work of George MacDonald, that I thought it wise that I read George MacDonald. His work is captivating, and every book is a tutorial. He packs more theology in his yarns than preachers do on Sunday morning. And I thoroughly enjoy the works of Maeve Binchy her art of character development.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions, Phyllis. I'm sure readers will enjoy getting to know you a bit better.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.
Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.
She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.
Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.
CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter
(1) winner will receive (US only):
- a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
- a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!