Giveaway,  Guest Authors,  Tule Publishing

Author Spotlight: Laurie Beach Has a New Holiday Romance & a Fun Giveaway!

We have a winner! Congratulations to Julie Rupert–you are the winner of Laurie’s giveaway. She will be in touch with you. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat! We love, love talking to our readers! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Know what I love? Sharing my favorite authors with you! Laurie Beach is definitely one of my very favorite authors of Southern contemporary romance. I’ve fallen in love with Crickley Creek and the wonderful characters she’s created in that small South Carolina town. Be sure to check out her fun giveaway below!

Laurie Beach is a former news reporter, advertising producer, and political press secretary who, after raising four children, is parlaying her love of reading and writing into a career as an author. She is a sucker for elderly people, grumpy animals, and happy endings. Having grown up in Alabama, she loves novels set in the South. Laurie now lives in California with her husband and their spoiled old dog.

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Thank you so much for hosting me again, Nan! Let’s talk about Christmas!

Christmas for me, like for most of us, has always been about family and traditions. From Christmas Eve jammies, to “you have to eat at least one bite of” oyster stew, it’s the holiday I look forward to the most. It can be the warmest, coziest time of year, or the coldest, loneliest of all. With Christmas in Crickley Creek, I set out to write a warm and cozy book with a twist. The twist came straight from my grandparents. In every home they had, there were hidden rooms—behind paintings, under stairs, and in the ceiling. But the biggest and best secret room was behind a full-length mirror.

When I realized that prohibition ended on December 5 back in 1933, all of the pieces for my Christmas story fell into place. My protagonist, Emma, would find an old speakeasy in a secret room in her great-grandmother’s house, already decorated for Christmas. Just when her holiday threatened to be the loneliest one ever, she opened that door and found hope for her future. A little old man, an ornery cat, and a certain young man round out the story. Like my grandparents clearly knew, traditions and secrets sometimes go hand in hand. And hand-holding can be the start of a great love story.

GIVEAWAY: For a print copy of Christmas in Crickley Creek and a notebook to write down your Christmas wish list, tell me: What is your favorite Christmas tradition? We will draw a winner on Saturday morning. (Continental US only)

Christmas in Crickley Creek

She doesn’t need gifts under the tree this holiday season. What she longs for is a second chance.

Emma Shea Abernathy is fully aware of her social role: marry well, live extravagantly, and, most of all, exhibit perfection. And it started with saying “I do” to future governor Trent Broadway.

With her carefully crafted life in full swing, she knows she’s made a big mistake. Leaving it all behind, she hides out at her great-grandmother’s beach house in Crickley Creek. There, she discovers a secret room containing a well-preserved 1920s Prohibition speakeasy–and some surprising information about the women in her family. This leads to a new plan: to become a woman who acts contrary to what is expected. In other words, a Firefly Girl.

The problem is, no one else embraces her change of heart, especially her first love, Scruggs Willingham III. He still refuses to forgive her for marrying someone else. Despite the olive branches she extends throughout Crickley Creek, it appears she’ll spend Christmas alone.

Until a rare Christmas snow brings the one miracle she needs: the freedom to accept herself.

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  • Linda May

    My favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas and also The Christmas Card which is a Hallmark Movie from a number of years sgo. Thanks for your great generosity.

  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    I love baking Christmas cookies and sneaking some of the sugar cookie dough that everyone says is gonna make me sick (never has!). Laurie, thanks for the story summary, and the neat tidbit about your grandparents’ hidden rooms!

    • Laurie Reese

      Are they really homemade cookies if you don’t sneak some raw dough? I think not. 🙂 Thank you for reading the summary!!

  • Kimberly Field

    My mom loves to track Santa with Norad, especially now that we can do it on facebook. In the last few years, I have made ornaments for a swap. I love that your grandparents always had secret rooms in their houses.

    • Laurie Reese

      I remember when that first came out. What a fun thing to do!

      I like to make ornaments, too. I decoupage oyster shells. I’m sure yours look much better than mine!

  • Debra Pruss

    My favorite Christmas tradition is reading from the Bible Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

    • Laurie Beach

      You’re so good to send out cards! I fell out of the habit several years ago. I sure enjoy receiving them though! Have a merry Christmas!

    • Laurie Beach

      I love that your tradition involves your grandchildren! That’s what sweet memories are made of! Merry early Christmas!

  • Janine

    I LOVE this book! All of them! I think it would be so cool to find hidden rooms in a house. I don’t really have a lot of Christmas traditions except driving around at night looking at lights and decorations on houses. I don’t have children, I have cats, so I have Christmas stockings for them and give them gifts for Christmas.

    • Laurie Beach

      I have a feeling that if reincarnation was real, many people would like to come back as one of your cats! Do they sniff out the gifts? Merry Christmas to you and your fur babies!

  • Joannie Sico

    Baking Christmas goodies to give as gifts. Also my grandma would give me an ornament every year growing up and when my daughters were born, she continued it for them but she passed away after my youngest was born so I continued it.

    • Laurie Beach

      Isn’t it nice that we have so many Christmas movies to choose from these days? Your tradition sounds so cozy! Merry early Christmas!

    • Stephanie

      One of our traditions is spending Christmas Eve with the whole family. It’s my parents anniversary and we’ve been cooking and celebrating with them since we were kids. We’ve just added the grandkid and great grand kids to the mix. This year will be different with the passing of my father but we’ll still celebrate my mom and his spirit.

      • Laurie Beach

        Holidays are difficult when we’re missing a loved one. I hope you feel his presence, and that your holiday with the kids is filled with awe, wonder, and plenty of joyful noise!

  • Amber Cummings

    Having dinner with my whole family, opening gifts, and looking at all of the lights, decorations, and light shows.

    • Laurie Beach

      Family is the best part, isn’t it? But there’s something about the neighborhood lights that make the season feel so friendly and festive. Merry early Christmas!

    • Laurie Beach

      Hi, Doris! There’s nothing like professionally done lights in a nature setting. Beautiful! Merry early Christmas!

    • Laurie Beach

      It’s a fun hunt, isn’t it? And all worth it when they love the gift! Merry Christmas and happy shopping!

    • Laurie Beach

      There’s nothing like a good Christmas cookie! I’m making some today for my book signing on Saturday and I have a quick recipe to share. It’s for crunchy chocolates, not cookies, but they are surprisingly delicious. Melt whatever chocolate you like (I like Hershey bars) and mix in Fiber One cereal, honey roasted peanuts and mini-marshmallows. Wait until they firm up. Eat. The Fiber One is what makes the crunch so satisfying. A quick and easy plate filler if you need more treats!