Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Melody Carlson’s newest book, Christmas in Winter Hill.

Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to Janette for winning a copy of Elizabeth Goddard’s Always Look Twice.

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Award-winning author Melody Carlson has delighted fans for many years with her heartwarming Christmas stories. She invites you to join her this Christmas in Winter Hill, Washington, a town famous for its Christmas celebration. So grab your favorite holiday beverage and curl up with Christmas in Winter Hill.

Winter Hill, Washington, is basically Christmasville, USA. Unfortunately, the new city manager, Krista Galloway, is not a fan of Christmas, and the annual town-wide Christmas celebration is not an optional part of her job. She wonders if this move was a mistake for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily. Krista will have to dig deep to find the Christmas spirit she has lost.

Conner Harris and his family have lived in Winter Hill their whole lives, and Christmas is their favorite time of the year. Although the city manager does not share their love of the season, Conner has a feeling he can bring her around. Can he convince the town to see beyond Krista’s hard exterior and glimpse her good heart underneath? Will Krista and Emily finally find a home in Winter Hill?

Melody Carlson invites you to rediscover the spirit of Christmas in Christmas in Winter Hill.

Q&A with Melody Carlson

What is a Bible verse that inspires you to keep on writing?

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV)

Describe the moment that you knew you were born to write.

Actually, there were many moments—because I always loved writing (storytelling). But it was in a bookstore with my preadolescent son, trying to find some good teen fiction (because he wanted to read Stephen King and I felt he was too young for it). I was so disappointed in the book options, I turned to my son and said, “I can write this badly.” Of course, I was joking—sort of—but the next day I started to write a book, and within the year my publishing career began.

Describe an Aha! moment.

I’m not sure if this was an ‘aha’ moment in the typical sense—but I was recently in British Columbia, watching one of my books (All Summer Long) being made into a Hallmark movie. And I had a moment where I had to stop and pinch myself—like was this really happening? I’ve had many books optioned over the years—but this was the first one to actually make it into production. Very cool! (FYI, the movie premiered on Hallmark Channel on August 24th)

What’s your strategy for coping with bad reviews?

Long ago I learned to avoid reviews altogether. Oh, sure it’s nice to hear someone praise your book, but after you read a bunch of nice ones, you usually come across a lousy one. That’s what would happen to me—and for the rest of the day (maybe several days) all I could think about was that one nasty review. So I realized it wasn’t worth it. And now I limit myself to only reading reviews sent to me by the publisher.

If for some reason you couldn’t write anymore, what would you do with your gift of communication?

I’m not sure if this falls under “communication,” but I’d love to flip houses. My husband and I have done this on a small scale, but if I wasn’t writing, it’d be fun to take it on seriously (I’m a big fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines). And I actually think a well-done home communicates something beautiful to those who enjoy it.

Describe your best writing moment.

Because I don’t outline my stories, I’m never completely sure of where I’m going—which is great because it motivates me to press on. But I love it when something completely unexpected happens, so special that it moves me—and I hope it moves the reader too. That is the best!

Describe your worst writing moment.

One time I working on a suspense book—in the midst of a good friend’s personal tragedy—and somehow I exceeded the contracted word limit by about 10,000 words. Don’t ask me how that happened, but when I figured it out, I had to cut all those words and it was painful. Consequently, I haven’t written a suspense novel since.

What book would you write if you could write any book?

I’d love to write a brilliant and inspiring novel that would hit the New York Times Bestseller List. And not just because of the royalties (although that would be a nice perk) but because it would be amazing to create a book that could touch that many hearts in a truly life-changing way.

For more about Melody Carlson, or to sign up for her newsletter, go to melodycarlson.com

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Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than seven million. She is the author of many Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington’s, The Christmas Cat, The Christmas Joy Ride, The Christmas Angel Project, The Christmas Blessing, and A Christmas by the Sea. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon.

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