Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Countdown to Christmas with Linda Swift

Hello and welcome to Day 13 of my Countdown to Christmas Blog. Today’s featured guest is Linda Swift. Linda is here to chat with us about


But before Linda joins us in the parlour amidst the twinkle lights and bristly pine tree, here’s a blurb and excerpt from this delightful Christmas story.


Leigh and Russell have not seen each other in years when they come to Kentucky to spend the holidays with Leigh’s grandmother Amelia. Russell’s own grandmother lived next door until her death and they had been in love before Russell left for college. Leigh waited for his return but to her disappointment, he never came back.

When they meet again, the attraction between them is stronger than before but many complications exist. Leigh’s husband and young son were killed in an accident in upstate New York. She blamed herself for her son’s death and vows never to be a mother again. She left her elementary school teaching job and moved to Florida where she now sells real estate. Russell is a successful building contractor in Arizona, a divorced father of two, whose wife just remarried and will be moving overseas. She has offered custody of their girls, four and eleven, to him and he must decide now.

When Russell asks Leigh to marry him, she thinks he needs a mother for his children and doesn’t want the job. Will he be willing to say no to custody in order to get Leigh to say yes? Can she become Russell’s wife if it means depriving him of his beloved daughters?


The Twelve Days of Christmas

A few scattered snowflakes were falling as they walked the now familiar route toward the university. When they passed beneath the street light, Russell caught the fleeting glimpse of crystal droplets in Leigh’s hair as he reached out to touch her arm, slowing her steps until she stopped and faced him.

“Leigh, there’s something I want to tell you.”

She met his eyes in the dim glow but remained silent.

“I love you. I always have.” His hands reached out and held her arms gently. “I never expected to have this chance again and I don’t intend to make the same mistake twice. I want you to marry me.” He heard her soft intake of breath and waited what seemed an eternity before she answered.

“I’m sorry, Russell. I can’t.

After a moment of silence, he asked, “Is it your husband? Are you still being loyal to his memory?”
“No, it isn’t. . . ” she let the words trail off

“If not that, then what, Leigh? Tell me.”

“I can’t explain. It’s too complicated

“Leigh, please don’t deny us this second chance to be together. I need you and I think you need me.”

Available Now:

Let’s have a warm welcome for Linda Swift!

Sharon: Thank you for joining us today. Oliver, we’re ready for refreshments.

Oliver swaggers out, donned in his Santa hat, pushing a silver caddy full of steaming tea and coffee. Winking wildly at Linda, he breaks into song.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Three French hens, two turtle does and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeeeeee!

He takes a sweeping bow and arranges two dainty teacups and unveils a platter of scones, gingerbread boys and sugar cookies. He grins his bone-melting smile. “Coffee, tea or me?”

Linda: Well…She gives him an admiring glance. That's a hard choice to make. Seeing Sharon's frown, she hastily answers I'll have tea, please and under her breath adds, for now.) And you do have a great voice, Oliver. Have you thought of singing on a talent show? Sharon frowns again. In your spare time, of course.

Oliver whips out his certificate proving he did indeed appear on American Idol.

Sharon: Oliver, run along. Don’t you have more baking to do?

Sharon: Sigh. He can’t help himself. So, Linda. I love the sound of this book. Tell us about your main characters, Leigh and Russell.

Linda: Leigh has never dealt with her grief over the loss of her husband and son. And she blames herself for her little boy being with his father when the accident occurred. She has tried to run away from her pain but it isn't working. And Russell is also hurting from the breakup of his marriage and the loss of his daughters. But when given a chance to reclaim them, he's afraid to take it. Then Leigh and Russell meet and realize they still love each other but now their goals are at odds and the situation seems hopeless.

Sharon: A book about second chances. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? All things anew. Do you believe in second chances?

Linda: Oh, very much so. It's never too late to begin anew. Everyone makes mistakes and we can learn from them and move on. And if we are very lucky, like Leigh and Russell, we have a chance to start over and get it right.

Sharon: Why the title? The Twelve Days of Christmas?

Linda: I like to use the title or a line from a familiar Christmas song for my holiday books. And somehow the idea came to have Leigh's plane ticket for twelve days correlate with this song. I don't struggle to find titles for my work. I create a story and in the process, a title usually presents itself. I don't question where it comes from!

Sharon: That’s great. So many authors struggle with book titles. So tell me, do you have any fond memories of this delightful Christmas song?

Linda: No, I don't have any special connection with this song other than it's one of my favorites and I can remember it always being a part of the Christmas music I listen to and enjoy.

Sharon: And a catchy tune at that! How will you spend Christmas this year?

Linda: My husband and I will be in our condo in Florida and our son, daughter, her husband and our granddog plan to come down from Nashville for the week. We are looking forward to that as we usually spend the holiday without family there with us.

Sharon clasps her hands together and laughs a deep belly laugh. A granddog! I love it! Now, as you know, traditions are very special to me. What is your favorite Christmas tradition, one you passed on to your children from previous generations?

Linda: On Christmas Eve, we always had dinner, then drove around the town and looked at holiday lights. Afterwards, we read the story of Christ's birth from Matthew and had light refreshments. And when the children were older and wiser we opened gifts. During the Santa Claus years, we waited for gift opening until early Christmas Day. I am an only child and my family also followed this tradition from my early childhood.

Sharon: Those are lovely traditions. And how would you like to be remembered when you leave this earth? What footprint would you like to leave as your very own?

Linda: I'd like to answer that with a poem I wrote a long time ago called Immortality.
I would like to leave
a little bit of me
that you can see
and say
she passed this way.

I like to think my books may be part of what I leave to be remembered by.

Sharon: What a beautiful poem, Linda. Thanks for sharing. And finally, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? If you could star in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And last but not least, who would you want playing your romantic hero?

Linda: I'd like to live in a village in England in summer but I'd want to come home to Florida in winter or perhaps some place warm in Europe. I've always been a nomad.
I love the old classic movies and I have always wanted to be part of the old South and live in an antebellum mansion, so I'd choose Gone With The Wind. And who better to play Rhett than Clark Gable. But as Miss Scarlett, I'd rewrite the script and make sure he did "give a damn." Don't laugh, but I once owned half a horse and I named her Miss Scarlett.

Oliver struts out, returning from the book store with his copy of The Twelve Days of Christmas. If I might be so bold as to have your autograph, Ms. Swift?

Linda: Oh please, Oliver, do call me Linda. And I'm flattered to sign your copy of my book.
Let's see. She pauses and then writes slowly as she reads aloud. To my dear friend Oliver with fond regards. How's that?

Oliver swoons off, singing The Twelve Days of Christmas, but not before stealing a kiss under the mistletoe he held over Linda’s head.

Sharon: Thank you so very much for joining us today, Linda. Where can readers buy this book and your other books?

Linda: Oh, do give me a moment for my head to stop spinning. There. The Twelve Days of Christmas will be released by Awe-Struck Publishing any day now, and I have another contemporary book just released there called Single Status. My other holiday book, Let Nothing You Dismay, is available from the Wild Rose Press. And I have Circle of Love also available from TWRP.

Book Title: THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (to be released in December)
Buy URL:

Sharon: Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Oliver rushes out blasting his horn with a major announcement. "The Twelve Days of Christmas is now available, hot off the press as of yesterday!" Get your copy in time for a holiday stocking stuffer!"

Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She
has been writing since she was ten and is an award winning author of published poetry,
articles, short stories, and a TV play. Her first two books were published by Kensington.
In addition to her holiday e-book, Let Nothing You Dismay, Linda also has Circle
of Love available as an e-book and in print from The Wild Rose Press.
Linda's Awe-Struck Publishing books include Single Status, available as an e-book
and in print. Another holiday book, The 12 Days of Christmas, will be released in
December and her first published historical in 2010.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon and Linda,
Another great interview. Best of luck with all your books Linda. The 12 Days Of Christmas sounds wonderful. Very touching poem,too.

Sharon Donovan said...

Let's have a warm welcome for Linda Swift. Hello, Linda! Come sit around the hearth with us while Linda chats about The Twelve Days of Christmas, her enticing Christmas read. Oliver, do bring out the coffee and tea and those scrumptious smelling cinnamon buns, please. Hello, Margaret. So happy you're the first to arrive. Do have some tea and treats. Oh Oliverrrr! About those refreshments, dearheart!

Linda Swift said...

Good morning, Sharon and Margaret.And I have good news to share. The Twelve Days of Christmas was released a couple of days ago and in the confusion of making our seim-annual move to Florida, I completely forgot to send you that information, Sharon. It can be ordered right now at this link: The cover is right there on the Home Page.

Linda Swift said...

Margaret, it was so nice of you to come by. I have just gotten up. It's almost 8AM here in Florida, and I thought you were an early bird until I realized you are about 6 hours ahead of us, aren't you? Thanks you for your nice comments and I'm happy you liked the poem. My books come from my mind but my poems come from my heart.

Linda Swift said...

Oh, dear, I've just reread my own comments and need to make a correction. That's semi-annual, not seim. Well, I told you I'd just gotten up. That is my only excuse.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi there Linda! How about some tea or coffee to get us all bright eyed for the chat around the hearth? Oliver will be around, soon as he's finished reading The Twelve Days of Christmas. He's a real Romeo for a love story, our Oliver. And congratulations on the release yesterday! You must be so thrilled. How does it feel to have a book released the twelve days before Christmas? Was that karma? Oh here comes Oliver, clutching the book to his heart.

Linda Swift said...

Yes, Sharon, it is always thrilling to get a new book released. And the timing on this one was perfect. It is now 12 days till Christmas. I'm getting a book trailer made that uses the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." My talented son-in-law is making it for me, and my also talented husband is playing the music for it. I'm a lucky person to have so much support from my family.

Julie Robinson said...

Hello Linda and Sharon!

Linda, your book sounds like a real tear-jerker. Congratulations on its release. I also like your immortality poem. Your story reminds me of a poem I wrote as a senior in h.s. called "A Mother's Plea," the gist of it being "Why, oh why did you have to die?" Obviously an early attempt at putting myself in another character's mindset.

For me, your story is a must have, though with only one child personally, I'll no doubt be bawling my eyes out when I read it.

Kaye said...

As always, your interviews are interesting, fun and informative! Your son-in-law is happy and honored to help put together your book trailers and all of us are proud to be supportive as a family!! We wish you lots and lots of success! Love, Kaye, Wes and Sabian

Mary Ricksen said...

Your blogs are always wonderful Sharon.
Linda, I wish you the best of luck with your story. That's a lot of kids to take care of. I enjoyed the excerpt, you just made it too short.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Julie.Thank you for your comments on my book. It is a bit of a tear-jerker. But there is a darling little girl in it who will tug your heartstrings, as well as a smart mouth eleven year old you'll want to smack. A editor who rejected the book due it not meeting the pub's guidelines, said that she loved this child. And I loved her, too, though I have no idea where she came from. Some characters just pop into the plot from nowhere.
And thank you for sharing your poem. It tugged at my heartstrings. When I write poetry, it is always a more emotional experience than writing fiction. And I do hope you are still writing poems. If you want to read any more of mine, visit my web site Poetry Page at

Linda Swift said...

Hi Kaye. Thank you for coming by. And for your nice comments. And I appreicate it so much that my S.I.N. is so willing to do my book trailers.(The pay is not good for my family helpers, but the gratitude is at the top of the scale!) And I am truly grateful for all the family support I get.

Skhye said...

HI, Linda! Love IMMORTALITY. My poetry just sounds cheesy... Thanks to you and Sharon for helping me find some holiday cheer today. My back hurts. :(

Linda Swift said...

Hi Mary. I certainly agree with you about Sharon's blogs. I always read them. (She accuses me of just stopping by to see Oliver, but I would do it even without Oliver--I think, althouogh he does add a great incentive.
And we have a very small family. Only a son, daugher, son-in-law and the granddog. So our whole family will be here for a week or so. I always fantasize about a huge family with lots of grandkids, but I'd probably be a basket case if I had all that.
And yeah, the excerpt was short. That's to make you want to buy it and read more, Mary! Just kidding. I just didn't have time to look for a longer passage in the book that I wanted to use. Sorry.

Linda Swift said...

Hello Skhye. I'm sorry about your back. We are so fortunate when we are not sick or in pain and we never appreciate it fully until we lose that. I'm glad you were cheered up here today. Sharon is always good for smile and that's why so many people keep coming back, I think. Thank youi for your compliment of my poem. And I'll bet yours don't sound cheesy to anyone but you. I have been amazed at how many authors also write poetry. I have a page devoted to poems at my web site and that is just for personal satisfaction. It doesn't sell anything. But I have fun changing it for every season. I have just updated it for winter last night. Thanks for coming by.

Sharon Donovan said...

Sharon rushes in, heart all a flutter. Things are very hectic today, my mom in and out of the hospital with a leg infection. But Linda, my goodness, where to begin! First of all, you have such a supportive family, all kicking in to help with your book trailer and so much more. You are so very fortunate. And secondly, I must get to your website to read your poetry. Your poem on the interview was heart-warming, just the right touch. Not being much of a poet, although I do enjoy reading it, stay tuned for coming attracttions. I have one poem published and will be posting it in a few days. And last but not least, thank you for your lovely compliments to my blog, Linda. It is awesome authors like you that draw people in!
Waving madly to Julie, Mary, Kaye and Skhye! Do dig into the treats Oliver has put out on the side board. Julie, your poem is lovely. Write more. Kaye, thanks for dropping by. As I've mentioned, your mom is one special lady! Mary, as usual, you say the sweetest things. And Skhye, dear one, I wish I could take your pain away with a wave of a magic wand. Hang in there, my friend. And have the voice of a poet in your writing, you know you do. I'll bet money your poetry will leave us speechless...

Julie Robinson said...

Wow, Linda! I just got your book, but didn't realize when I clicked on the first link that Awe Struck was having a 15% off new release on your book, plus a 20% Holiday discount.

I enjoyed your poetry page. I forgot which RWA magazine I read this in (fairly recent), but an author whose name I can't remember said that she would write Haikus everyday for a year, which helped her with thinking about words. Since then, I've been trying to get back in the groove by doing something similar, but haven't been as steadfast as I could be. Thanks for the encouragement.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sharon and Linda

Another great interview. Your books sound wonderful, Linda, and the poem was very moving. Wishing you lots of Christmas sales!

Linda Swift said...

Sharon, I'm so sorry about your mother's problem. I am dealing with the same thing with my 93-year-old aunt right now. And she is having mini-strokes besides. She has had a leg infection for weeks now and elderly people's wounds are difficult to heal. I send your mother best wishes for quick healing.
Don't worry about being away part of the day. Oliver kept us all very happy with his refreshments and delightful company.

Linda Swift said...

Julie, I'm delighted that you bought my book and especially glad that you reported back to us on the Holiday discount besides the 15% new release discount. While that sale is going, you may want to check out my other new release called Single Status (shown also on the Homne Page of Awe-Struck. That is, if you like the holiday book. However, I will tell you that Single Status is a very different kind of book. A fun read rather a tear-jerker. At least, mostly fun but there may be a few tearful moments in this one, too, if you really want to cry instead of laugh.
And thank you for your kind words about my poems. I did put a lot of Haiku in this season. But I usually have have more even mix. I, too, think Haiku is a good way to think about language, syllables, and brevity (of which I have little!) So do keep writing.
And thanks again. I hope you enjoy the book.

Linda Swift said...

Thanks for coming by, Hywela. I love your name, you know. I even know how to say it, thanks to an earlier letter asking you at the WRDF site. And I love the graphics you do for Sharon. Some day I want to know more about our Oliver. And thank you for the good wishes for my book sales. Writing holiday books is risky, as their season is so short. But one editor said of Let Nothing You Dismay that if you want to keep the spirit of Christmas all year, you need to read it. I liked that thought.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, thanks for dropping to chat with Linda today. Linda, thank you for your warrm wishes regarding my mom. I wish the same for your aunt. And kudos to Julie for her announcements on your books. This is great. And the poetry sounds wonderful and I can't wait to check it out. Oliver has been behaving for a change? Good. And I'm glad he saw that all the guests and you were kept happy! He is quite enthrolled by you. He's been humming The Twelve Days of Christmas and he usually hums, "Ain't Misbehavin'" under his breath, but of course!

Linda Swift said...

Sharon, I'm going to call it a day and get ready to watch Christmas at the White House. And I hope this will get me in a mood to address Christmas cards. Yes, I know, I'm running late on this already. It's been a great day, thanks to you and Oliver and all the people who've stopped by. I am very grateful for this chance to promote my books. And for any night owls, or other time zone people who stop in later, I'll check back and respond to your comments in the morning. And to all a good night. Linda

Sharon Donovan said...

I would like to thank all for popping in today to chat with Linda about the release of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Linda, you have been a delight and I wish you mega sales! Thank you for sharing your poetry with us and so much about your Christmas story. As always, special thanks to Hywela Lyn for the beautiful decorations on my blog. Thanks, Lyn! Nicely done.
Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.

Love and Blessings,