Thursday, December 3, 2009

Author Spotlight and Book Giveaway: Loree Lough

If this is your first time stopping by Southern Sassy Things...well, you chose the perfect day to stop by. Today's big feature is my second interview with Loree Lough! Woohoo! I got to know Loree a little bit better a few months ago, and she's gung-ho ready to answer some more of my questions! :o) In addition to answering all my questions, we're also going to talk about Loree's latest book, Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska. If you didn't stop by yesterday, and would like to read my review of Loree's book, click here.

Welcome, Loree!

Thank you, thank you, for inviting me! It’s so great to talk with you again!

I see you here, there, and everywhere online. How do you manage to stay connected with your readers and fans AND find time to write?

Well, it helps that I don’t need the usual 8 hours of sleep every night. Getting up early seems to be the key for me. I get so much done between 5 (when I wake up) and 7:30 (when my husband starts meandering the house). Quiet stuff, y’know, like dusting and sorting laundry and even scrubbing bathrooms… leaving the machine-required chores like vacuuming for the hours when he’s up and about.

Since it’s just the two of us now that the kids are grown and gone, chores don’t eat up all that much time. Usually, by 6 a.m., I’m at my desk, reading and answering email. Then it’s on to all the ‘social networking’ sites like Facebook, Shoutlife, MySpace, and Twitter. I use a timer to make sure I never linger too long at any one address. (I really get a kick out of communicating with old and new friends in those places!) I set the li’l gizmo for 10 minutes, and when it beeps, I’m outta there, even if I’m mid-sentence.

And then it’s on to my Work In Progress. I read and edit the last scene I wrote yesterday, then plunge into the next one, and generally don’t come up for air until suppertime. (Love my crock pot!)

Are there any good Christian fiction books that you've read lately that you seem to recommend to everyone?

I’ve read a couple, actually! Sharlene MacLaren’s Maggie Rose was a delightful read. And so was Tammy Barley’s Love’s Rescue. A Widow’s Hope, by Mary Ellis and Melanie Jeschke’s Jillian Dare held my attention, too. And for those who like stuff that’s a little grittier, I recommend Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins and Cursebreaker by Nancy Wentz.
I've had a hankering to read both Riven and Jillian Dare, so it might have to be sooner rather than later. :o)

Tell us about the featured book.

Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska is the story of a wounded war hero who’s forced to hang up his uniform and head back home. He has a list of reasons he’d rather be just about anyplace else, not the least of which is that it’s “The Town Where It’s Christmas, All Year Long.” That, and he’s not thrilled at the prospect of managing his deceased parents’ run-down gift shop.

Enter Sam Sinclair, whose resume convinces Bryce that maybe he can achieve his dream of opening his own one-of-a-kind furniture-making shop with an able dude at the helm. If only finding out that “Sam” is short for Samantha was the least of his troubles!

When Sam rumbled into town in an oversized RV, she hoped to leave heartache and disappointment in Baltimore . Imagine her surprise when, on her very first day in town, she learns her job as the hotel chef was given to the owner’s nephew!

For her, going home means admitting defeat; for him, being home is defeat. Will stubbornness keep them apart? Or will they learn that love takes as many shapes as the snowflakes that blanket the streets of North Pole…?

Yours is the first book that I've read that features a character who fought in the Iraq War. What caused you to want to create a character who has been through that experience?

Like most patriotic Americans, I’ve always been a supporter of our armed forces. During my youth, when I (literally) sang for my supper, I visited VA hospitals in every city sang in, and went bed-to-bed, singing for soldiers wounded in Vietnam . (Yeah, I’m actually that old!) Times have changed, but my appreciation for what the brave men and women who risk life and limb to assure our freedoms hasn’t.

So I decided to honor them by creating a hero who came home from war with a very visible, life-altering injury (Bryce was blinded in one eye when he stepped on a landmine to save his men). But he has scars that don’t show on the surface, too, and I hoped to remind readers of the sacrifices our soldiers make, every day of their military lives.

Sam's career preference is a chef. Is there anything she cooked up in the book that is a particular favorite of yours? (Those sticky buns sounded pretty good to me!)

Oooo yeah, sticky buns are a regular ‘fresh from the oven’ treat around here (and I have the wiggly butt to prove it!). Sam also wanted made lasagna for her brother and Bryce, and chocolate cake. (I’m happy to share the recipes if y’all send your email addresses!)

Would you be able to live in a place like North Pole year round?

We’ve had a humble little cabin in the Allegheny Mountains , and until recently, it had no electricity, no plumbing, no phone or TV (and the area still doesn’t provide Internet access). We’ve been snowed in for days… and loved it. The 22 hours of darkness or daylight is even tough on people who’ve lived there all their lives, so yeah, I think I really could!

There were a few characters that had a few loose ends toward the end of the book, and I really want to know how they end up! :o) Is there any type of sequel or follow-up story to this one so we can know what happens with some of the secondary characters?

I would love to write a sequel to this story! (“Love RETURNS to North Pole, Alaska”?) Write the publisher and see if they’ll let me do it, because wouldn’t it be fun to see what happens between Sam’s brother Bill and Cora, the pretty waitress who showed him around town!

Now that we're in the month of December with Christmas right around the corner, are there any special Christmas traditions that you have in your family?
Every Christmas Eve, we gather here for warm and spicy cider, then head off to the evening service at church. Afterward, we eat buttered popcorn and sip home-made cocoa while watching It’s a Wonderful Life. On Christmas Day, we gather ‘round the tree to exchange gifts, then gather ‘round the table for a big family sit-down dinner (usually 30 or 40 people!). We start dessert with a birthday cake for the Baby Jesus, and yes, we sing the Happy Birthday Song before blowing out one candle.

What's this I've been hearing lately about chipmunks in your house? (You'll wanna make sure they're all gone if you are having a big Christmas get-together! LOL!)

Ha! I think they’re gone, but if they aren’t? No biggie, because I have this teeny tiny whip and if they don’t sing “Little Tin Soldier”, I’m not afraid to use it!

Can you update our readers where you can be found all over the web?

Why, sure! Y’all can find me at Facebook, MySpace, Shoutlife, and Twitter, as well as and

Once again, thank you so much Loree for visiting today, and I look forward to having you com back again in the future!

Well, you’re quite welcome… but I’ll bet you’re not looking forward to having me back as much as I’m looking forward to coming back! This was a lot of fun, so thanks again!

*Loree has been so sweet to offer a free copy of Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska to one special reader. If you are interested in gettin' your name in the hat, please leave a comment with your email address in the following format (your name at somewhere dot com) so the trolls don't get you. If you do not leave your email address, you will not be entered in the's the only way we can reach you. The giveaway will be open until Saturday, December 12th, 11:59PM.

This book is a perfect holiday read, and you definitely want the opportunity to win a copy. So, come on.....what are ya waitin' for?!?! :o)

**Odds of winning are based upon the number of entrants. Contest open to U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited.


  1. Loved the interview! :)

    I have a few of Loree's recommendations waiting on my TBR: Maggie Rose, Love's Rescue, and Jillian Dare...they all sound like great books.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing...I have Loree's book just waiting to be read. Hopefully, once the Christmas holidays are over, I can get back to my normal reading!

    Thanks Loree and Christy!
    ~ Lori

  2. It sounds like a great book, especially one that honors the men who have gotten injured.
    I have never lived in AK, but I have lived without electricity, running water etc. in northern MN...the snow came up to the bottoms of our living room windows and kept coming!! It is an adventure!

  3. Fun to see you here, Loree, for another great appearance! Thanks, Southern Sassy! Would love to wave to y'all sometime from my blog!

    Don't add me to the list as an appearance with the Inkies sold me on Loree's writing!



  4. Hi ladies! Great iterview! I'm in the mood for sticky buns now LOL! I would love to read this book! I'm in the process of reading Loree's Tales of the Heart to review and it is pretty good so far! I haven't read either of Loree's LFY books but this looks like a good place to start! Thank you for posting the wonderful interview Christy!

    Merry Christmas!

    xoxo~ Renee

  5. This book is on my wish list and I really want to read it!

    Thanks for the interview!


  6. Hey, read about this on Paperback Swap. Have just started really getting into the Christian fiction genre and would love to read this book. My e-mail is:
    or PBS nickname is grannyc

    Thank you!

  7. What a gift--singing to the wounded soldiers. My husband served in Nam. He was not wounded, Praise the Lord! Congrats to you. Your book sounds terrific. Please enter me. Thank you.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  8. This book sounds like a good read and one that I would enjoy.


  9. I've always loved Alaska! Please enter me!

    ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

  10. What a great interview!! I've seen a few different reviews of this book and would love to win a copy!

    Julie =)

  11. Great interview....would LOVE to read Loree's book...thanks for the opportunity.


  12. Thank you for the interview. sharonaquilino at hotmail dot com

  13. I also read about this on a Paperback Swap discussion. Thanks so much for this offer! I would love to win a copy of Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska ~
    My email is readinginks at gmail (dot ) com

  14. OOO!! I have this one on my wish-list:) Please enter me!! Thanks!!

  15. This sounds like a fun read! :)

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

  16. I would love to win this book. I've been looking forward to it. I think I might even have to give some for gifts. So far all the books I've read in the Love Finds You series have been wonderful. Great interview Christy. Please enter me.


  17. Love the cover - sounds like a wonderful book on a cold night

    msboatgal at

  18. I would love to read something besides text books. Please enter me.

  19. This sounds like a wonderful book. Please add my name to the drawing.

  20. I love holiday reading. I would like to read and win this one.


  21. I haven't read any of this authors books yet, but this one looks very good! I like that she pays tribute to our service men. Please sign me up.
    Deborah M.

  22. Sounds amazing! Please enter me!

    writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

  23. I haven't read any of Loree's books, but I would love to win a copy of Love Finds You....please enter me in the drawing!
    Thank you for the opportunity!

  24. Sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

    bloggyig at gmail dot com

  25. Neat interview. Thanks for the contest!
    airalynn at gmail dot com

  26. (Seems I had a little trouble posting Loree's comment to this post, so here it is again....) :o)

    "First, a great big thank you to Christy for posting this review. You're a peach, girl, and if you were here, I'd just hug the stuffins outta ya!

    Second, I'm so grateful for everyone who has written to say they enjoyed LFY in North Pole, Alaska. Especially y'all who posted comments here. Does an author's heart good to "hear" good things about the stories they've worked so hard on!

    Last, my sweet doggy has chosen the gal who gets a free autographed copy of North Pole:

    Renee, I'm happy to inform you that Cash plopped his big clumsy paw on YOUR name.

    If you'll email me your address (, I'll send the book asap.

    Again, thanks, everybody!

    Hope the Lord blesses each of you with a splendid week!"