Lee Carver – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Lee Carver shares how the novella collection, Love in Mistletoe Springs came to be. Answer the question at the end of this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Print for contiguious USA. Kindle for international. Deadline: Oct 3rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Lee:

Lee CarverLove in Mistletoe Springs

With five novellas in “Love in Mistletoe Springs”, too many delightful heroes and heroines jump off the pages of the set to do character interviews typical of this blog. At a book club meeting last week honoring my WWII novel, “A Secret Life”, the readers were curious about how authors come up with stories and what goes through their minds when they’re inventing characters. Perhaps both readers and authors would enjoy a stroll down the path to creating a novella set.

Multi-published author Gail Sattler invited several authors to put together a set, which would come out over the summer. For some of us, it was a chance to publish a short novel between major works; for others, the appeal of writing with other significant authors drew us in. Besides Gail and myself, Kimberly Rose Johnson, Lee Tobin McClain, and Ginger Solomon responded with unique stories around a central theme.

E-mails flew between us, with one person drawing a map of the fictitious town, another creating a huge chart of the characters and stores so we could overlap. For one author, weather and phases of the moon are important to her writing, so she sent out a comprehensive chart for our use. Gail wrote the prologue and epilogue, which was edited in details by all participants. She also bird-dogged the cover, which was created by a college art student. No one kept a record of how many times we voted on specific elements in the creation process. Finally, I put it together, adjusted the formatting and last-minute edits, and uploaded it in both print and Kindle forms.

During my years of establishing homes in various countries, I learned an important lesson: if you want to make new friends, work together with people on a task. Roll up your sleeves and become acquainted trying to effect a common goal. That’s the idea behind this set of stories, which lead to five sweet romances.

The Mistletoe Springs animal shelter loses their grant, endangering the lives of countless stray dogs, cats, even birds and turtles. The community attempts to save the shelter by running a Christmas in July fundraiser. Groups of volunteers scramble to get all the details together while managing their personal lives. For ten people, love gets in the way.

Here’s a quote from my favorite review of the set: “I’ve never read a book written by this many authors, but they pull it off beautifully. As a quilter, I know how important that at least one or two colors show up consistently in each different square to keep the consistency of the quilt. These writers pulled this same concept off extremely well in this book.”

Included in the set are the following stories:

“A Cockatoo for Two”
Nikki Waldrop is given a cockatoo because her son is allergic to hairy animals. But this biology teacher needs help from the principal, who once lived in Indonesia and knows about caring for a cockatoo. When the sick bird responds with “Gimme a kiss,” hearts begin to soar.

“Brewed with Love”
When Amber Cook meets firefighter Bryan Grant, can she overcome her deep seated fear of fire and discover true love?

“Stray Gifts”
Dani Cooper has vowed to focus on her four kids and stay away from strays, whether animal or human. But will she be able to resist the handsome, mysterious veteran who shows up on her doorstep looking for work…and maybe, for a home and family too?

“Mistletoe Madness”
To say Kayla can’t function in a crowd is an understatement. The only help she can get to do her part to help the shelter is the bane of her existence, her brother’s best friend who has teased and harassed her mercilessly all her life. But Drew’s feelings for Kayla have suddenly changed. Can he both help the shelter, and help Kayla change her mind about him?

“Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge”
Mitch Silverton agreed to be in charge of decorating for the fundraiser. And he needs his boss, Margaret Holberg, to donate her family’s vast array of decorations to make the day unforgettable. BUT…

She’s not sharing. Christmas is not a holiday she wants to celebrate in July, and saving the animal shelter is not high on her list of important things to do.

He wants her to share more than the decorations. He wants her heart. Will he succeed in changing Miss Scrooge into Mrs. Christmas?

We’re giving away a print copy to someone within the contiguous USA who responds to the reader question (below). Outside of this area, we’ll send a Kindle version.

Question for readers: Are you especially drawn to novels featuring animals as significant characters? If so, what animals interest you most?

About Lee: Lee Carver is once again failing at retirement. After rearing her family in seven countries, she has settled down with her husband in Texas and begun to write novels. She also serves as president of her local chapter of ACFW, is a Stephen Minister, sings in the choir, and crochets for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. The Carvers still enjoy travel, which they must do to visit their two children and five grandchildren.

Both print and Kindle versions may be found at http://amzn.to/1KglJf3 . The Kindle version is being sold at the special price of only $0.99 for a limited time.



18 Responses to “Lee Carver – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 1”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    I love animals in a book! Horses,dogs,monkeys,birds etc.. love them all but a snake

  • Melissa Henderson says:

    I agree with Shelia Hall, no snakes. haha! But, I do enjoy stories that include animals. I notice that many older black and white movies (like The Thin Man series) include dogs in the movies. How wonderful to see several authors participating in this book. 🙂

  • Karen Hadley says:

    I like animals in books. I agree with the others, no snakes, rats or mice..

  • Patty says:

    Animals play such a big part in many of our lives, why wouldn’t they be in our stories?

  • Deanna S says:

    I like animals in a book too,, no snakes though! I would love to read this collection 😉

  • Melanie Backus says:

    I love animals in books. Dogs are my favorites!

  • stvannatter says:

    I love animals in books. I’m equally a dog and cat person.

  • Not necessarily, I like animals but I’m not what you would call an animal lover which to me means that I do not let myself get attached to them.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  • Lee Carver says:

    I certainly agree with all of you about the snakes. My father had a deep-seated fear of snakes, but my son raised boa constrictors in his apartment during his college years–and also bred large rats to feed them! Alas, he sold off all his stock of both the week before he married. Yeaaa, daughter-in-law!

    How about birds? My story, the first in the set, features a cockatoo. We had a bird-child named Charlie the four years we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. He inspired my novella.

  • Janet Estridge says:

    I enjoyed reading the book about Dewey, the library cat. I love cat’s, unfortunately, my allergies do not.

  • Merry says:

    Pets make fun and interesting characters for a book. I really love dogs, they are so loyal!

  • Beth C says:

    I like dogs and cats in stories. I think it adds a lot to a book, but then I am an animal lover!

  • Lee Carver says:

    The Kindle version is still only $0.99. “Almost free.” We seriously considered not making a print book, but I have a few friends who won’t read an ebook. How about you? Do you prefer to read print or ebook?

  • Gail Sattler says:

    As one of the authors, this was such a fun set to do, and Lee and the others were all a joy to work with. Not only did we have fun putting all the details together, we also got to know each other a little better, so there’s two bonuses to putting out this delightful set.

  • Kimberly Rose says:

    I so glad we decided to offer a print copy of this book. My mom only reads print books and really enjoyed this book! I liked the look and feel of the print vs so much, I actually purchased one for myself. 🙂
    That being said, I generally prefer ebooks. My bookshelf space is full and unless I get rid of books, I’m out of room for more paperbacks.

  • Lee McClain says:

    I generally like dogs, but for this story, a cat jumped out at me and wouldn’t let go. The cat even insisted on getting lost to form a crucial plot point in the story! I had so much fun writing my part of Love in Mistletoe Springs.

  • Ginger says:

    I’m not a big fan of snakes either. My pet in Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge was a rat. We had rats some years ago, and they are pretty good as far as pets go–not much upkeep necessary. 🙂

  • stvannatter says:

    I have a winner! Beth C. won the drawing. I appreciate Lee for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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