I hope you had a great weekend, reader friends. Today I have the awesome LoRee Peery visiting with us. She’s come to talk about her latest work, . Have you added it to your TBR pile yet? If not, be sure to do so with the links at the bottom. But let’s talk first. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us.
Toni: I’m so excited to have you here today. Why don’t we start off with your book. Tell us a little about your story.
LoRee: The first spark for Hiding from Christmas came from sight of a decrepit farmhouse. I see them from the highway, some surrounded by corn, others with trees, and always wonder about the people who homesteaded there. How long ago? How many children? Did they go through rough times such as blizzards, drought, grasshoppers, and/or farm accidents?
That was a spark, but what was the story? I asked a good friend what she’d like to read about in a Christmas novella and she told me the influence her own grandparents had on her because of the deep love they shared. I brainstormed from there and added a bit of time travel.
Calissa seeks to turn back time and find lifelong love. She still believed that once you married you’d be together always. But it hadn’t happened that way with her grandparents. She was so devastated over their deaths one December that she turned her back on God and Christmas. Lackadaisical Monte is her childhood friend whom she expected to spend her life with. But he balks at marriage commitment, and instead pushes her to restore belief in Christmas. He wants her to get on with her life and forget going to the old farmhouse. The story is basically how they realize what true love is and how God works in their individual spiritual journeys.
Toni: Wow! That sounds amazing, and I get the same sparks! Sometimes we have to write the stories for the buildings since they can’t talk. 🙂 What’s a day like for Calissa?
LoRee: Calissa is an intrepid entrepreneur who goes after what she wants, but has given up on love. She also has never decorated for Christmas as an adult. Her blog is popular because of her beaded designs on denim, purses, or whatever the customer orders. She hand sews for hours. As soon as school is out and sometimes on Saturdays, her teen nieces come to her apartment and help sew butterflies, dragonflies, peacocks, or whatever Calissa needs them to do. Then she mails off the orders. Underneath her business activity, the abandoned house of her ancestors calls for her to seek the past.
Toni: That’s a great career! You definitely don’t see that too often in books. What was your favorite part of writing this story?
LoRee: I thought at first that Calissa would be present and interact with her grandparents in the past, but each time she saw them in the old house, she traveled back in time without them seeing her. My favorite part was I never knew ahead of the writing what she would envision when she looked through the farmhouse window, and especially, the day Calissa first stepped inside.
Toni: You sound like a pantser. Woohoo! What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
LoRee: I had to think about this question and looked in the file to see if I researched anything. I didn’t for the story. But I did look up time slip because I’d heard time travel and time slip used interchangeably while I wrote this story. I didn’t think they were the same and wanted to know the difference. There is one.
Toni: There’s definitely a difference. So let’s talk a little about you. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
LoRee: That particular spark came from a challenge. I slammed a magazine onto my lap and said, “I could write better than this.” My hubby responded, “Why don’t you?” Ideas struck. My first efforts in the mid-1980s were poorly written short romances for magazines. Then I attempted to work through my father’s unsolved homicide by writing a similar novel that took ten years. (I finally wrote “Dad’s” story, fictionalized and published as Touches of Time.) I took a course through the mail with Writer’s Digest, back when it involved mailing bulky paper assignments back and forth. Comments led me to believe I had something, so I learned as much as I possibly could. I joined writing and critique groups, attended conferences and classes. It wasn’t until the turn of the century before I got pieces of nonfiction printed. The third novel I wrote was my first publication in 2010.
Toni: What an amazing journey! Do you like sweet tea or lemonade? Winter or summer? Sunrises or sunsets? Movies or TV shows?
LoRee: Interesting combinations…lemonade, winter, sunsets, and movies.
Toni: My brain is a little scattered. 😉 Now before you go, tell us what’s next for you on your writing journey.
I have three contracted projects (no release dates yet) with White Rose Publishing, which is the romance genre of Pelican Book Group. One is Courting Country, with a Cyrano de Bergerac premise starring an older heroine and hero. Here’s what I call my forty words: Kylie figures online dating is her last chance at finding love. Friend Taggart loves her from afar, and agrees to pen messages from another old friend whom Kylie is interested in. Will she see Taggart for who he really is?
Toni: Oooooo. I love Cyrano de Bergerac retellings!
LoRee: The second is Cowboy Just in Time. I saw an intriguing old barn and the seeds of the first time travel I wrote, took root. My forty words: An event planner falls through a barn loft floor and finds herself in 1890. The cowboy embodies the man of her dreams. He wants her to stay. She needs to leave. Is their love enough to span the ages?
Toni: Eek! That sounds good too.
LoRee: Phoebe, the rancher’s daughter in Cowboy Just in Time, is not a very likable character. She has redeeming qualities, though, and kept raising her hand to be heard. So Phoebe’s story is the sequel called Future of My Heart, where she comes forward in time. My forty: A rancher’s daughter forfeits her first love to a woman from the future. A lighting tech is flummoxed by the beauty who appears on his western movie set. Can his love and middle-class lifestyle keep her in this century?
Toni: Sounds awesome!
LoRee: Thank you, Toni, for spotlighting my latest Christmas Extravaganza story.
Toni: It’s been my pleasure! Readers, do you have any questions for LoRee?
About the Book
After her grandparents as forced to live apart through assisted living, and then die within nine days of each other, intrepid entrepreneur Calissa Ladd is devastated. She’s always wanted to experience the same lifelong love modeled by her grandparents, but her heart isn’t where it needs to be as she clings to the past for answers and then starts having vivid dreams of a long-ago time period.
Deferential banker Monte McQueen has loved Calissa since they were children, but he procrastinates making a commitment to her. He stands by as Calissa gets stuck in the past.
Calissa clings to the decrepit homestead that belonged to her family, searching and seeing visions into the past. Will she overcome her skewed beliefs and reclaim her relationship with the Lord as Monte pushes his love of Christmas on her? Or will she forfeit her happily-ever-after?
About the Author
Nebraska country girl LoRee Peery writes fiction that hopefully appeals to adult readers who enjoy stories written from a Christian perspective, focusing on the romance. These include novels and novellas for women and men in the Contemporary, Romance, Historical, Time Travel, and Mystery/Suspense categories. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother and great-, sister, friend, and author.