The Spirit of Christmas

Lauraine Henderson lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy are all grown and live across the United States. 
 
After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and romantic comedy and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she’s working her way through online university, loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, make beaded jewelry, and read (of course!).
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George Stone can’t wait for the Christmas season to be over and his employees, especially his executive assistant, Kathryn Gleason, focused once again on their work. When a missing report requires George to stop in at Kathryn’s parents’ home the day before Christmas Eve, he ends up as an unexpected guest. Between the haunting journals of his late grandfather and the unsettling dream of an unhappy future, George is swept away by the magic of Kathryn’s charm and her family’s love. 
 
Will the Spirit of Christmas show George the happiness he’s missing and will Kathryn’s warmth and beauty melt his cold heart?
 
 
 
 
Q&A With the Author:
1. Describe yourself in 50 words or less. Writer of romance, painter of children and close-focus flowers, sewer of clothing, knitter of scarves, beaded jewelry maker, avid reader, online college freshman at BYU-I, former bookkeeper, certified scuba diver, mother of three (2 girls and 1 boy), wife for 33 years.
2. What do you love most in the world? I love to share others’ accomplishments and celebrate with them. Most of the time, I do this for my family, especially my children. I love to be a part of someone else’s happiness.
3. What inspired you to become an Author? It’s the old story of having an idea rattling around in your head until you take the time to write it down. The more I wrote, the more scenes came to me until, years later, I had the makings of a novel. From that point on, the stories just kept coming.
4. What is your favorite Winter/Holiday tradition? In our family, we draw names in October and create a homemade gift for that person. We exchange the homemade gifts on Christmas Eve, after a formal dinner and Christmas program. Throughout the years, everyone in the family has come to agree that the best part of Christmas is the homemade gift they give.
5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story? This is tricky because everyone approaches writing from different directions. When I have writer’s block, I need to walk away from my work for a while. Sometimes it takes days. Sometimes it takes weeks before new ideas strike and I can work on that piece again. In the meantime, I usually work on something else or read a lot. Advice? Well, like most other writers will say, just write. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Write until you run out of words and then wait and write more when more words come. Read a lot. I find when I read really good authors, I can hear my own story in my head and it’s easier to write it down. Keep a notebook handy and write whenever you feel inspired.
6. Tell a story. When my husband and I moved to Arizona, we bought a house in a sub-division about twenty miles out of town. Surrounding our half-built community, there were multiple dirt trails designed for ATV enthusiasts. We purchased two Honda four-wheel ATVs and frequently hopped on the wheelers for short excursions into the surrounding desert landscape. My husband fashioned a large shelf across the back of one of the wheelers so our dog could sit and enjoy the ride when he tired of running beside us.
On one excursion, we were following the dry canals—built for flash floods–through the neighborhood. During the course of the summer, wind had blown tumbleweeds into the canals and because the plants were fraught with prickly thorns, we carefully avoided them.
Approaching a large patch of tumbleweed, my husband (who was always in the lead because the dog would howl if he wasn’t first), ran his wheeler up the side of the canal embankment and down on the other side of the tumbleweeds. I was using a new type of throttle attachment that day and as I attempted to follow him, I pulled on the throttle too hard. The wheeler shot out from under me, crested the embankment and landed on top of the other side from where we started.
I landed smack dab in the middle of the tumbleweed pile! If it hadn’t been for the dog barking, I’m not sure how soon my husband would have noticed that I had stopped following him. When he finally came up beside me, I was still lying face-first, spitting the dirt from my mouth, and trying to catch my breath. I was pretty sure I hadn’t broken anything, but the difficulty I had breathing worried my husband and he gently helped me to turn over. Except, turning over meant I was now sitting in the bushes of thorns! Struggling to stand, breath, and stop shaking from the experience, he carefully worked all the thorns off my backside.
It took weeks before I could breathe normally again and I have a residual lump on my thigh. Everyone needs a good wheeler story…
 

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