Monday, December 23, 2013

A Cup of Christmas Cheer by Marilyn Turk, Carrie Fancett Pagels, and Carla Olson Gade ENDS December 30th



Marilyn Turk, Carrie Fancett Pagels, and Carla Olson Gade here, bringing you a little Cup of Christmas Cheer!

Thank you for having us on your blog, Debbie! As co-contributors to A Cup of Christmas Cheer from Guideposts Books we each enjoyed the opportunity to write one of the sixteen heartwarming stories for Christmas for the two-volume set. Each of us thought we’d share why we wrote our stories and we hope you’ll enjoy hearing about them.

We are giving away one set of the books and hope that others will purchase a copy for yourself or a gift. The first run of 30,000 sets was sold out in a matter of weeks and they now have more in stock. Be sure to pick up a set or two while they are still available!


A word from Marilyn ~ First, let me say that I’m delighted that Debbie asked us to talk about our Christmas stories in A Cup of Christmas Cheer. I am thrilled and honored that my story is part of the collection.

A Stranger’s Visit to the Lighthouse by Marilyn Turk:  My story is about the young wife of a lighthouse keeper who is about to give birth to her first child. When her husband goes to town to get her mother for a Christmas visit, a winter storm hits, leaving the very pregnant wife alone, frightened and worried about her husband and her baby. She searches Scripture for comfort, while at the same time, her husband and mother, stranded in town, pray for her protection and peace. The unexpected arrival of a stranger whose boat wrecks near the lighthouse proves to be the answer to their prayers. The Bible verse, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2, came to mind as I wrote the story, “A Stranger’s Visit to the Lighthouse.”

So why did I write the story I wrote? Well, it relates to the blog I started writing two years ago about one of my favorite things, lighthouses. Each week, I tell a story about a different lighthouse. These stories, some nonfiction and some historical fiction, became devotionals when Bible verses kept popping into my head as I wrote. While doing research for the blog, I developed a connection to the people who lived at lighthouses. That connection led to ideas for novels, and to date, I’ve written two, yet-to-be-published books for my lighthouse series.

When I heard that Guideposts was looking for Christmas stories with a classic, traditional feel, I
immediately thought of a story set at a lighthouse. My husband and I had the opportunity to serve
as volunteer light keepers at a darling little lighthouse on an island off the coast of Maine, and
while there, I was swept back into time, imagining what life would have been like back in the
1800’s. It is the Little River Light, in Cutler, Maine that I had in mind when I wrote my story!

Marilyn Turk has been published in Guideposts magazine, A Joyful Heart (Guideposts
devotional book), The Upper Room, Clubhouse Jr., several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and has written three novels awaiting publication. Fascinated by lighthouses, she created a weekly lighthouse blog @ http://marilynturk.com. She lives in Florida with husband Chuck and enjoys fishing and tennis when she’s not climbing lighthouses or playing with her three grandsons.


Now about Carrie’s Story ~

Snowed In by Carrie Fancett Pagels: Set in the upper peninsula of Michigan, 19-year-old Eliza’s three younger sisters show up at her second job, seemingly abandoned by their father, after their mother’s death. Her wounded WWII veteran sweetheart takes the girls to his ailing grandmother’s log cabin near the lumber camp where they’d grown up. Although Henry promises to return for Christmas eve, the roads are quickly closed off by a blizzard. Can he make it back for Christmas when his car won’t start and his snowshoe straps break? And will a tender love bloom to a promise? 

I wrote my story because I heard about the project and immediately thought of this story I had in my head from years ago. I had written it out as a possible chapter in a WWII story I had put aside about five years ago. “Snowed In” was inspired by a story my mom told me about how she and my father, then newlyweds, took in two of her sisters (both kids--my youngest aunt was in elementary school.) My grandfather was going back to Kentucky after my grandmother died and my mom, then 19, told him he was NOT taking those girls back there (he also planned to return.) My mom was kind of a passive person when I was growing up so when I heard this story it resonated with me. She had a good reason she wanted those sisters to stay. In 1945 my dad had just returned from WWII, a wounded vet.  My mom would have only been 15 then. One of my dad's stories that similarly stuck with me was of him spending his birthday during the Battle of the Bulge with frozen coffee and wondering if he'd ever get home. Bottom line: I had a fun time "spending time" with my family, most of whom are in heaven now. The two little girls, Nellie and Jean, are inspired by my aunts, one battling cancer now and the other leukemia and Alzheimers. But in this story they are sweet little girls spending time with an adorable grandmother who isn't even their own! That's the fun thing about fiction!

Carrie Fancett Pagels is author of an Amazon top-rated Civil War novella, Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance. Carrie also contributed to God’s Provision in Tough Times, Lighthouse of the Carolinas (July, 2013). Her short story, Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas, appears in Guidepost Books “A Cup of Christmas Cheer” (October, 2013). With a Ph.D. in School Psychology, Carrie served as a psychologist for twenty-five years. Carrie is the former ACFW Zone Mid-Atlantic Zone Director and Virginia/West Virginia Area Coordinator and continues to serve as co-hostess of the Tidewater Area Christian Writers group. Married for over 25 years to the love of her life, she resides in Virginia’s historic triangle. She has an 11-year-old son and a 24-year-old daughter. Carrie has two popular group blogs: Overcoming with God and Colonial Quills. Website: www.carriefancettpagels.com

Greetings from Carla ~

Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner by Carla Olson Gade - A ship’s captain takes his schooner for his last haul of the season upon icy Lake Michigan to return with Christmas trees for the German immigrants in his town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His journey leads to an unexpected surprise of hope and healing for him and his grieving wife—a Christmas gift to treasure for years to come.

When I was invited to write a story for Guidepost Books new Christmas collection I knew I wanted to write about something timeless, that could resonate with the readers and become a treasured Christmas tale to enjoy. I heard about the Christmas tree ship Rousse Simmons that sank in Lake Michigan in 1912. I became intrigued how lumber schooner captains would risk so much to go out on the icy waters late in the season to bring back Christmas trees for the communities around the Great Lakes. They had been doing this since the last part of the 19th century. I didn’t want to retell the tragedy of the Rousse Simmons, but of one of the other schooners and make it a tale of Christmas hope. I invite you to visit my Pinterest Story Board to learn more.

Carla Olson Gade writes adventures of the heart with historical roots. A multi-published author of inspirational historical romance, her books include best-selling Mistletoe Memories, Pattern for Romance, The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter, Colonial Courtships, and the popular A Cup of Christmas Cheer. Carla writes from her home in rural Maine where she resides with her family. Visit Carla at her website  or Adventures of the Heart blog.

A Cup of Christmas Cheer, available exclusively from Guidepost Books: www.shopguideposts.org/new-releases/a-cup-of-christmas-cheer.html

77 comments:

  1. I am so loving these stories and cannot wait to have a chance to read all of them. So would love to give a set to my mom. As always I love learning more about my favorite authors and friends.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com
    http://www.faithfulacresbooks.wordpress.com

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    1. So glad you are blessed by the stories, Linda. Stay well and Merry Christmas!

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    2. Thanks for coming by, Linda. These ladies are wonderful authors. Good luck!

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  2. All of the stories sound very God-inspired.
    Thank you for writing them
    Thank you for the giveaway
    Please have a terrific,God-filled Christmas
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. I think that was what struck me as I read all these wonderful stories, Chris! Have a super duper blessed Christmas yourself!

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    2. Hey Chris. So glad you stopped by. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Good luck in the drawing.

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  3. Fun to read why the authors wrote the stories! I was so happy to find these books among my Christmas presents!
    Merry Christmas to all!

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    1. They had to "fly" a long way to get to the OWG Netherlands Angel!!!! So glad you are enjoying them! Merry Christmas, Marian!

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    2. Yay! I'm happy you got some great books, Marian.

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  4. I just love my set of books, and was blessed to be able to gift a set for Christmas to a very special friend here in my hometown who has been such an inspiration to me! As Marian said, it's very interesting to read what inspired the authors to write their stories!

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    1. Diana, you are such a sweetheart! isn't it neat how all of us were motivated by different reasons? As usual, mine was the sappiest, lol! Hugs!!!

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    2. It is neat! And yours is not sappy, but a very touching and wonderful way to honor your family members.

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    3. You always say the right thing, Diana--love you, my OWG angel!!! Merry Christmas!!!

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    4. Hey Diana! So happy to see you here. You're a wonderful encourager. And I do agree, Carrie's is NOT sappy!

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  5. This is a terrific set. I loved Carrie's and Carla's stories, and have yet to read Marilyn's. They are all so lovely and heartwarming. Best of luck, ladies. No need to enter me.

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    1. Kathy, I am so happy that you are enjoying the stories! Thanks so much! Big hugs!!!

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    2. Thanks for coming by, Kathy. Love you girl.

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  6. I love these wonderful Christian books. It's great to read a book and not worry what you are going to run into. So nice and love all your blogs and inspirational messages!

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    1. Sonja, These are such sweet stories, too, and all different! Thanks so much! Blessings!

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    2. Hello, Sonja. Thanks for coming by. Nothing like curling up with an inspirational love story is there?

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  7. I am a follower and would love to have these books. A cup of Christmas Cheer sounds like the perfect books to enjoy with a cup of hot tea. Thank you for this giveaway. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. Jan, Marilyn here. The books are perfect to cuddle up with a hot cup of tea. Good luck on the giveaway.

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    2. Jan, I enjoyed these stories over hot tea, soda a Chick Fil A, iced tea at another place because after I got my copies--I CARRIED them around with me and read them every where I went! And I LOVED all the stories written my my fellow authors in this collection! Merry Christmas!!!

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    3. OH yes, Jan! Hot tea and maybe a biscotti. :o)

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  8. Thank you ladies for these wonderful stories! I have not yet gotten a chance to read any of these, but the excerpts are heart touching and I would be honored to read these.
    Have a Blessed Christmas And thank you
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Jackie, Thanks for your comment. Maybe you'll win the set!

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    2. Wishing you good luck in the drawing, Jackie! Thanks for coming by.

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  9. I forgot I follow you by feed burner
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the post thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Follow by feedburner.

      marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    2. Mary, thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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    3. Thanks for coming by, Mary and thanks for following my blog.

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  11. I would love to win. The reviews are wonderful - thanks so much. I follow on feedburner and get the emails as well. Merry Christmas to all of you, and a most blessed New Year.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Merry Christmas Betti! Thanks for coming by!

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    2. Thanks for following and coming by, Betti. Happy New Year!

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  12. Thank you all for visiting. I hope you'll enjoy our stories as much as we enjoyed writing them. They are very dear to our hearts!
    Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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  13. I just stopped by to wish all of you ladies and your families a very Merry CHRISTmas.
    ~Cindi

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    1. Thank you, Cindi! And you as well!

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    2. Thanks, Cindi. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  14. These stories are so interesting. I am so happy that I was gifted with a set from a dear and precious friend friend. Now, I'd love to win a set for my church Library. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com
    All of you Have a Very blessed Merry Christmas and I wish a wonderful Happy New Year ahead with continued success.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you too, Maxie! Glad you enjoyed the stories.

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    2. MAXIE!!! My dear and precious friend!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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    3. Yay, Maxie! So glad you received a set! Good luck in the drawing!

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  15. Debbie I forgot to say that I am a follower of yours. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  16. I follow via E mail.....am sooo anxious to read these stories! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Merry Christmas to all!
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. These are stories (in the whole book) that can be read and re-read. Am hoping they do more print runs after this because they are a great collection, Jackie. Merry Christmas!!!

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    2. Thanks for following! Good luck, Jackie.

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  17. I love Christmas books, just love the story lines for all 3 of these stories, & would SO love to read both books! Thanks for the opportunity to win a set!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I am a feedburner follower!

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    1. Bonnie, you should be reading them soon, if you've gotten your set in the mail. Let me know! Blessings!

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    2. Good Luck, Bonnie. Thanks for following and for coming by!

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  18. The picture of the lighthouse is awesome, they've always been something I've sought when I know there's one nearby. I was raised in Michigan and we have a lot of them, but how great her book is about the upper pen....sounds like a good plot! Merry Christmas! :)

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    1. Diane, I am from MI, too! I love all those lighthouses up there, too! I'm from the upper peninsula and my Great-grandparents home is part of the Tahquamenon Logging Museum in Newberry. It is the cabin where my story is set! Merry Christmas!

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    2. Hey Diane. Thanks for coming by and saying hello. We have some beautiful lighthouses here along the coast in the Carolinas. Good luck in the drawing.

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  19. All of the stories sound wonderful. Thank you for the chance to win.
    I am a feedburner follower.

    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Susan, all the other stories are amazing, too! I've read and loved them all! Merry Christmas!

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    2. Thanks for following, Susan and good luck!

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  20. These books are awesome! I would love to have them to add to my library of books.
    I am a feedburner follower.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. Ms. Clark these are so pretty you'll want to display them! Merry Christmas!

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    2. Thanks for following. These ladies are amazing authors. I know you'll enjoy the books! Good luck!

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  21. I would love winning a set of these books. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. These are beautiful books. The covers almost glow! Merry Christmas!!!

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    2. Thanks for coming by, Connie. Good luck!

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  22. I would so love to win this set. I just finished Mistletoe Memories last nite. Loved it and am from Bordentown, NJ so the stories being set in Jersey was great. Thanks for the chance to win this set. Merry Christmas to all, Patti in VA pag1936@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Patti in VA, I'm Carrie in VA lol! Merry Christmas!

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    2. Hey, Patti! NOthing like a good Christmas book at the holidays!

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  23. I would love to win and read these books.Thanks for the chance.Keep up all this great writing,I hope you all have a very blessed New Year!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Jackie! Good luck! Happy New Year!

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    2. Jackie, if you don't win a set, I'd highly recommend you purchase a set. I really enjoyed all the stories in both books! Blessings!

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  24. I love Christmas books and I just have to say that"great authors make great books!" Thank you for the wonderful giveaway. Happy New Year!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hey Melanie! Thanks for stopping by. I'm with you nothing like curling up with a great Christmas book! Good luck and Happy New Year!

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    2. That is pretty true, Melanie, and I am so blessed to be included in a set with so many great authors! Blessings!

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