Monday, November 22, 2010

Book #9 in the 12 Books of Christmas Giveaway: A Riverwalk Christmas

Week #9! WOW! Where have the weeks gone? With Thanksgiving on Thursday, this week really is the official "holiday season kick-off." And I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to yet another author and give you a chance to win a wonderful Christmas book. Keep it for yourself or wrap it up for the avid reader on your gift-giving list. Giveaway details are at the end of this post.

This week, author Lynette Sowell is giving away a copy of A Riverwalk Christmas, an anthology collection of holiday stories. Here is a description of the book: A vivid setting, rich in cultural history, Christmastime along the San Antonio Riverwalk is a delightful setting for four modern romances. Ecko finally meets the right kind of guy, but can he trust her motives? Valerie hires an old flame to revive her business, but will he stick around? Gabriela has a chance to forgive and find love, but can she? Sienna’s job brings her the chance of a lifetime, but will her rowdy family spoil it?

In Lynette’s novella, Lights of Love, Gabriela Hernandez tries to juggle her life as an up-and-coming chef in her family’s Riverwalk restaurant. When her parents decide to renovate their home kitchen, this puts Gabriela on a collision course with Miguel Rivera. The last time Miguel was so closely involved with her family had disastrous results. Can she see beyond the past and the possibility of love in the future?

Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of five novellas, as well as a three-book cozy mystery series and historical romance for Barbour Publishing. She also works as a medical transcriptionist and a part-time newspaper reporter. In her "spare" time, she loves to spin adventures for the characters who emerge from story ideas in her head. She hopes to spread the truth of God’s love while taking readers on an entertaining journey. Lynette is a Massachusetts transplant who lives with her husband and a herd of five cats in central Texas. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family, and likes to eat Mexican food whenever she can. You can find Lynette on Facebook or at

Fun Holiday Questionnaire:

Favorite Christmas carol: Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
Even though the Bible doesn’t specifically mention the angels singing, I love the message of the song. Born that man no more may die….veiled in flesh the Godhead see...rise, the woman’s conquering Seed….bruise in us the serpent’s head… Some versions of the song don’t include all the verses, so be sure to find them and read them all if you can. It’s beautiful.

A family Christmas tradition: We always have a Christmas Eve open house after the Christmas Eve service at church. We invite our friends and neighbors to stop by and enjoy some homemade goodies, both savory and sweet, like at Fezziwig’s in A Christmas Carol. Except we don’t have room to dance like Mr. Fezziwig. We read the Christmas story and enjoy each other’s company before everyone goes to their own homes.

A memorable gift you've given or received: When we first decided to get our kids cell phones, we made that one of their Christmas gifts. On Christmas Eve, we made sure their phones were fully charged (and on), then wrapped them back up in the boxes. Then on Christmas morning, we dialed their phones and let them hunt for the boxes under the tree. Needless to say, the kids were off the charts ecstatic! We haven’t always given them “big” gifts like cell phones, but I have always enjoyed seeing the delight on their faces, evening opening little trinkets from the dollar store.

Favorite Christmas television show or movie? I can’t pick just one. My top three, in no particular order, are: 
1. A Christmas Carol. I love the theme of redemption and change in that story. The version with George C. Scott as Scrooge is now tied with the new Disney version of the story (it’s fabulous in 3D, showing all of Dickens’ London in its roughness and beauty).
2. White Christmas. I love sweet romance at Christmas, plus the tunes. Plus, my Christmas novella for 2011 is based on White Christmas. It’s a fun story set at a Vermont inn, of course.
3. A Christmas Story. “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Everyone knows where that comes from. It reminds me of Christmas joy being found in something very simple. We adults are the ones who complicate Christmas and make celebrating harder than it ought to be.
When do you start your holiday shopping? I try to shop all year round, especially for my kids. Clearance shelves are one of my favorite places to look. The trick is remembering where I’ve stored things all year!

Ever been kissed under the mistletoe? Yes, but only by my husband. At least that’s what I remember. J

Do you deck the halls in style or keep it simple? Oh, we do it up big around my house. I’m married to Mr. Christmas so I let him have free rein pretty much in the house and the yard. I try to keep up with him as best I can. People enjoy driving on our street just to see our house.

What food do you overindulge in during the holidays? Anything savory…like my mom’s sweet ‘n sour meatball recipe. They are also good eaten cold, for breakfast the next morning. I do a lot of baking, so I don’t eat a lot of sweets during the holidays.

Favorite Recipe to share:

Holly Redberry’s Chinese Chicken Wings

When I was in college, I worked in an office with a fun lady named Holly. She always brought these wings to special occasions. I kept the recipe and named it after her.

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon anise seed
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons white cooking wine

Mix all the above ingredients together and pour over chicken wings. Marinade overnight. Bake at 350 for one hour. (marinade can be doubled or tripled as needed)

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for A Riverwalk Christmas. Deadline is Friday, November 26. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Saturday, November 27.

**Contest disclaimer: Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents. Odds of winning depend on number of entrants.**


Jan Cline said...

My sister and I took our annual sister trip to San Antonio this year. We never had so much fun...the riverwalk is the best! What a great setting for any kind of book.
jancline at ymail dot com

Joanne Sher said...

Sounds wonderful. LOVE the cell phone gift idea!

Enter me - and if I win, it would be on my daughter's 7th birthday ;)


Jo said...

We have been in San Antonio several times but have never made it to the Riverwalk. We have to do that one day. I hear so much about the Riverwalk and really want to see it so would love reading this book.


Sally said...

San Antonio is a beautiful and fun city. It's very different from my west Texas town so it makes for a great vacation destination.

Merry said...

I have to chime in and say I love the cell phone idea. I also love San Antonio, please include me for A Riverwalk Christmas.

Lynette Sowell said...

San Antonio is a fun place to visit, especially the Riverwalk. I also enjoy visiting Market Square, and my heroine wants to open her own restaurant in that area. Texas is a neat state, and each region has its own unique flavor. Thanks for stopping by!

Nancye said...

I've never been to San Antonio before. Sounds like a neat place. This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

Three years ago, my husband and I visited San Antonio, Texas and we loved the Riverwalk. It is so romantic. We had dinner in an Italian restaurant that overlooked it. This is a great setting for a book.


misskallie2000 said...

I spent 41 days in San Antonio in 1997, Sep 21 to Oct 31, and loved River walk. I would ride the trolly there and back. I got to go back the first week in Dec and got a look at some of the Christmas deco and was just beautiful. Every yr since then I have wanted to go back at Christmas and see River Walk in all it's Splender.
I am sure reading this book will bring back many memories and maybe even take the place of a trip back to River Walk, at least temporily.
I love Christmas stories, music, lights and deco but I do remember the real reason for Christmas. The birth of Jesus.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter this awesome giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Vonnie B said...

I've never been to Texas but would love to go some winter.
I love Christmas music that reminds me of the greatest gift ever given to mankind. It touches my soul.

Lynda Schab said...

I have heard San Antonio is beautiful (and you guys confirmed it). I'd love love love to go someday. :-)

Vickie Allen Kraft said...

Love learning more about you Lynette...still remember fondly our time sitting in the floor at your sweet home in Cove...that was B4CJ. big grin! :)
-Vickie Allen Kraft

missreneer said...

This sounds like a really great read. Thanks for the recipe and the wonderful giveaway :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com