Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 6 months ago

Friends & Fiction—The Christmas Spectacular with the 12 Authors of Christmas

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

For our super special F&F Christmas episode, we invited EIGHT amazing author guests to join us. Join the fun for a special group reading of a custom adaptation of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas penned by our own Kristin Harmel. Each of our eight guests also talks about their latest book and answers a few questions from the Fab Four. You won’t want to miss all the festive holiday fun! Meet F&F’s 12 Authors of Christmas: VIOLA SHIPMAN, The Secret of SnowJULIA KELLY, The Last Dance of the DebutanteSADEQA JOHNSON, Yellow WifeANITA HUGHES, A Magical New York ChristmasJULIE CANTRELL, It's a Wonderful ChristmasRACHEL HAWKINS, Reckless GirlsCOURTNEY WALSH, A Cross Country ChristmasSUSAN MEISSNER, The Nature of Fragile ThingsMARY KAY ANDREWS, The Santa SuitPATTI CALLAHAN, Once Upon a WardrobeKRISTIN HARMEL, The Forest of Vanishing StarsKRISTY WOODSON HARVEY, Christmas in Peachtree Bluff

Welcome to friends and fiction for New York Times. Bestselling authors. Endless stories Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry Are four long time friends with more than 70 published books between them. Together, they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing to highlight and support independent bookstores. They discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Mhm. Hello, Hello, happening holidays. It is Wednesday night, and that means it is time for friends and fiction. It's the happiest night of the week and tonight Do we have a show for you? Not one guest, not to guests, but eight guests. Eight. Who are here to help us celebrate this season and a few more surprise friends in the after show. We are so glad you're here. I'm Kristin Harmel. I'm Kristy Woodson Harvey. I'm Patti Callahan Henry, who forgot her Santa hat so she has a red flower. Horrible. I'm appalled. I know. I know, I know. I'm also Mary Kay Andrews, This is friends and fiction. Headwear optional for New York Times Bestselling Authors. Endless stories to support indie booksellers. Tonight we thought we would do something a bit different, since this is our holiday episode before you get worried. We do have an episode next week, too, but we know some of you might be traveling or getting ready for Christmas, and therefore you might watch that show later. So plus, celebrating today sort of splits the difference between Christmas and Hanukkah a bit better, which is an additional benefit. And where there are holidays, there is happiness. And where there is happiness, there are books to escape into. And tonight do we have a treat for you All week long and last week to we've been sharing with you. eight of our 12 authors of Christmas books out this season. Kristen, Mary Kay, Christy and I are the other four, and tonight all eight of them are here to help the four of us celebrate books and this beautiful reading community. We'll chat about the holidays and we might know we're definitely going to even have a little poetic surprise for you because, you know, how are Kristin Harmel is, and it is sprinkled throughout the show. I cannot wait for them to see what she has done, and if you want to find out, it is dorky. It's pretty awesome. Is what its peak dork dork. That's what I aspire to if you want to find out more about the yeah, adorable. As Meg says, it's adorable. I'll take it. I'll take it off and adorable. You want to find out more about the new books from each of these eight authors or from the four of us, and we hope you will just head over to our Facebook group page, where you'll find all those posts under announcements. And I think it's called featured now, along with a link To enter a contest to win a bundle of all eight books. But don't delay because the contest closes tomorrow, Thursday at midnight. And as you know, we continue to encourage you to support independent booksellers when and where you can. And one way to do that is to visit our special friends and fiction bookshop dot org page, where you can find all eight of tonight's guest authors and books by the four of us and our past guests at a discount and, of course, at bookshop dot org. A portion of each sale through the Friends Eviction Shop goes to support independent bookstores and to support the show. So if you enjoy watching, this is a way to support our guests, independent bookstores and the friends of fiction group itself all at the same time. And I'm going to apologize in advance that every time I move the bell at the top of my hat rings. But if you get annoyed, just think every time in follow Rings an angel gets its actually makes me think Santa's on his way As we speak, it gets very festive, and it's making me feel even more guilty than in Alabama. You shouldn't have said anything. Your hat just looks like you're like sugar than I mean your flowers, your your secret. That doesn't look like the hat is the re yes, optical illusion. Alright, y'all. And don't forget that this month we're working with the friendly folks at Butterball Turkey who are celebrating the 40th 40th anniversary of the famed Turkey Talk Line. But it just hit me that the Turkey talk line is older than Kristy. Mm Hmm. Alright. Just saying, Yeah, we'll look at their Yeah, and it...

...is open through the end of December. Make sure to join us on our talking turkey with butter ball after show tonight to find out more. And you know what else we have Fur store in store for you. In the after show our pal Mary Alice Monroe. She is stopping by one of our co founders of Friends in fiction along with us. She will be dropping by to help us celebrate. And you do not want to miss that. Mm. And we also want to remind you or, you know, nag you. We're almost out of days to shop online for delivery before Christmas, along with our friends at Oxford Exchange, which is a fabulous independent bookstore in Tampa. We have to design the first ever friends and fiction reading journal, and it makes the perfect gift for other readers or for yourself. It has a gorgeous blue linen cover, quotes from the friends in fiction host interspersed throughout and plenty of space to write down your thoughts on what you're reading. We hope you will consider ordering one for yourself and maybe even if you for your friends or loved ones. Oxford exchanged as beautiful gift wrapping, too. So it's kind of the perfect hands off easy gift for the writers readers in your life. We're so proud of this collaboration, and we hope you love it as much as we do. Yes, and right now, if you order a friends of fiction journal or any other piece of friends and fiction merchandise, you can get 20% off at Oxford Exchange with the code FF happy holidays. And you are gonna want that Reading Journal because we are so excited to announce a fabulous new initiative for 2020 to the Friends and Fiction reading Challenge, which will be spearheaded by our friends and Lisa Armstrong, who I'm sure you all know. So together with Alisa, we've put together a category for each month that we think is not only fun but will also put push each of us to expand our reading horizons this year and ensure that we fill up our beautiful friends and fiction reading journals. So be on the lookout for post from Anissa each month about the categories and be sure to chime in with what you are reading. Um, speaking of our reading challenge, two of the books that fit perfectly in the challenge are the Wedding Veil, shameless self promotion here that comes out in March, and Mary Kay Andrews. The Home Records, which comes out in May, which are a part of our spring reading box from Oxford Exchange that also comes with a snazzy free notebook gift. And if you order it before the 24th, also comes with the Seasons readings ornament in your very first box. Sounds good to me. Okay, ladies a lot. Well done. Well done, ladies. Good news. I know, I know. There's a lot of information dropped. I love it. All right, let's talk about the holidays. So, you know, friends in fiction is still relatively new. This is our 103rd episode and our second holiday season together. But we hope we're here with you. For many, many more holidays to come. We haven't had a ton of time yet to establish holiday traditions as a group, but we do think there are a few traditions we've established over the last 103 episodes and 20 months. And yes, in case you're wondering our first episode was exactly 20 months ago today. Wow, one of those traditions and we hope you agree, is that we all get to be together every Wednesday night. Is one big family and not one of those families that gets together in squabbles. The family who shows up each week to support each other right here in the comments of the show and on the page throughout the week. If you've enjoyed being a part of that family, we hope you'll take a second now to say hi and happy holidays to everyone in the comments, even if you don't comment often and even if you don't comment at all, we're so glad that you're here and we totally feel your support. Yep, and another tradition we've established is to support other authors, and the four of us are not the only ones who do so. So very many of you out there take the time to post in our community when you've read a book you love. And that means so much the way that you spread. The love for reading has grown this community. It's such a great way to support authors as his posting reviews online and simply telling your friends on and offline about an author you have fallen in love with. Well, we're pretty fickle on this show. I mean, we fall in love all the time. Tonight we have a special treat for you. In line with that tradition, we have eight of our author friends joining us for a bit of holiday fun. And to celebrate being part of this big, happy family of those who love books will be bringing the first four guests on in just a minute. This couldn't possibly be just a standard episode, couldn't because you know what other tradition we've established. We've established a...

...tradition of having fun. So we have something special up our sleeves. You knew we would, didn't you? And if you've been on our friends in fiction Facebook Group page this week, you know that we're doing a Big 12 authors of Christmas giveaway. We started on December six, introducing you to eight of our author friends who have books out this holiday season. Every day for the last week and a half, there have been different posts each day, introducing you to a different author and giving you an opportunity to enter a massive giveaway for 12 books. The contest closes tomorrow. So after our show tonight, if you haven't already make sure to look for those posts under announcements and enter the contest for a chance to win. We'll be announcing the winner on Friday. And what a happy day that's going to be for the dinner. You know, I would argue that we are all winners because tonight all eight of the authors are here to celebrate. But first, as Christy mentioned, it's time to have a bit of fun. Ladies, are you ready? Alright. Without further ado, we have prepared a poem for you. Wait. Can we be more accurate? Kristin has prepared a poem for us. Were you specifying that just in case it goes down, you don't want to take any credit for the right Right on twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and hope set up Santa suit soon would be there. The Children were nestled in Peachtree Bluff with Christmas and hurricanes not nearly enough, and Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled in the forest vanishing stars for a nap When, once upon a wardrobe there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter away to the window I flew like a hawk tore open the shutter and there was wrong block The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow showed Brenda and Lisa standing below When, what? To my wondering eyes should come on. But our director, Meg and our producer, Sean I Oh. Oh, my gosh! Best day ever! I haven't seen that a little old driver so lively and quick. I knew in a moment it must be ST Nick more rapid than eagles. His authors. They came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name. Now, Julia. Now, Anita. Now Julian Viola on Rachel on Susan on Courtney and Sequa to the holiday gift prize to this bundle of books. Now dash away, Dash away, Dash away. Look! All right on that silly note. Should we pause the poem and tell you about our first four guests tonight? Absolutely. No, I was never good. I cannot unsee that picture of Sean would want to get my Christmas car. That's totally okay on my wall. First up tonight we have our old friend who really needs no introduction because he's incredibly active on our page. Plus, you've seen him here on the show. Wade Rouse, who writes his viola shipment, is the bestselling author of nine novels, including this year's smash hit The Secret of Snow. The Secret of Snow is about a Southern California meteorologist who, after being laid off, returns home to Michigan to a past she would have preferred to leave behind. It's a novel of second chances, making Peace with the past and, of course, the magic of winter. Shawn, can you bring weight on? All right. What stuff is Anita Hughes, the bestselling author of 15 novels, two of which Roman Love and Christmas in Vermont have been made into television movies, the first one on Hallmark and the other one on Lifetime? She also writes as Anita Abriel, and under that name, she has a World War two novel called a Girl. During the war, coming out in March, she has penned five Christmas novels, including a magical New York Christmas, which just came out this year. It's a love story set at New York's iconic Plaza Hotel with shades of the famous Eloise books, which pop Sugar calls the perfect holiday romance. Sean, can you bring Anita on, uh, holidays? We also have Julie Kentrell, a good friend of all of ours...

...and the best selling author of several books, who is one of five authors who contributed to an event who contributed a novella to the Christmas anthology. It's a Wonderful Christmas classics reimagined in the book, which I loved and had an opportunity to get read. An early copy of Lynn Gentry takes on Miracle on 34th Street. Kelly Stewart takes on The Nutcracker. John. I'm not going to say her name right again. Jane Eyre Trump tackles White Christmas and Allison Pittman reimagines the 1940 Barbara Stanwyck classic Remember the Night? But if you read my parade essay earlier this year about my holiday decorating fiasco, you probably know that I identified the most with Julie's Story, which is a take on the griswald of National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. Sean, can you bring Julianne? I love it a little reef. We're just going a little wacky tonight, like it really coordinates with your blazer, which I feel like just really like you playing at all. And one is a genius, and all our names are in red. I mean, brilliant. Okay. Tonight we also have Courtney Walsh, a best selling author who runs a performing arts studio and youth theater with her husband and who also writes small town romance and women's fiction, including this year's Across Country Christmas, which is part of the Kindle Unlimited program. So if you belong to that, you can grab it for free. Right now, it tells the story of the T V set decorator who hitches a ride home for Christmas from California to Illinois with her brother's good friend Will, who also happens to be the childhood crush she's been trying to forget for the last decade. John, could you bring Courtney on, please. I had a hat like Courtney Courtney looking around my room, thinking to have anything I should have told you ahead of time. I was too busy writing foolish poem to actually anybody in any real information. I put a point set on my head, but I didn't I Look, it's good. It's good. All right, Welcome Ladies and gentlemen, we are so happy to have you here to help us celebrate the holidays. To all of you out there, you can read all about these four books in depth on our page. They've been posting all this week and last. But for now, we wanted to ask these four authors each a question. So each of you has written a Christmas story this year, as have two of the four of us. What appeals to you about writing stories set during the holidays? Wait, Do you want to start us off? Sure. Um, how much time do you have? Because I love everything about the holidays. You know, I think most of all, I like writing about the heirlooms that my family had. And I love bringing those to life. You know what? The ornaments or bottle brush trees. I think the bigger thing is I think the holidays are where we try to be our best. But it's also when we're the most fragile. So I like really exploring that depth of human emotion in my holiday book. So that's one of the things I love the most. Oh, I love that. How about you How about you, Anita? Um well, this is my my fifth Christmas book. Um, so I guess I'm a bit of a junkie and writing them, I think because they can be a little bit more whimsical, a little bit more magical, and because it's so much about the time of year or so much about gratitude and forgiveness. So both those things at the same account. That's a good point. Absolutely. How about you, Julie? It's fun. It's just a lot of fun. And I think regardless of what kind of tradition we celebrate this time of year, these winter holidays all kind of have that same shared core message, which is the light outshines the darkness. And I think that's a beautiful thing to explore. And it was a fun way to do it, a natural way to do it through the holidays and a fun way to do it through our favorite holiday films. Because what makes people happier than than watching holiday films that just give us a fun escape? It was a lot of fun. Oh, that's that's awesome. And how about you, Courtney? Like I think for me, I read sweet romance, so I mean the setting is really important to bring in the story to life. And I think you kind It's kind of like cheating a little because the setting at Christmas is automatically cozy, magical, and you just sort of feel like I want people to feel like they're curling up with, like, a cup of cocoa when they remained. It's like a hug. It's like a Christmas hug. So there's There's just something so magical and special about this this time of year, and you're kind of starting with that when you get the story. And then you can just keep building the story on some such a great foundation. So and I have to agree. It's tons of fun. You guys are making you want to write a Christmas. But but...

...never say never. But you, Mary Kay, I think for me it's the notion that I've been given permission to be unabashedly sentimental, Um, to be nostalgic. I can let go of cynicism and irony and, um, you know, embrace the light instead of talking about the dark for me. You know, last year was dark enough, which is why I wrote the Santa suit because I wanted to embrace the light. Mm, that's awesome. And Christie, you just wrote your just had your first Christmas novel come out. How's that experience been for you? What appeals to you about it? Oh, it's been so great. And I guess, you know, sort of echoing what everyone else said, especially last year, you know, during 2020 the holiday season just looked a little bit different. And so I thought I would write the Christmas and the holidays that I wish we were having. And that was sort of. But as far as the idea for Christmas and Peachtree Bluff and kind of echo of Mary Kay said, there would be moments and turns in the story when I would think, Is that a little bit to staffing? And then I'd be like, No, it's because I love it. Okay, so I now have a quick question for each of you. Anita, what has it been like seeing two of your novels made into movies on Hallmark and Lifetime, senior characters come alive on the screen. What was that like for you? It was really fantastic. And Roman Love was filmed in Rome and, um, in the in the suite at the Hassler Hotel, where Audrey Hepburn stayed when she shot room Holiday because that's what the book was based on. So it was a really, really wonderful to see all that on the screen. And Christmas is really fun. Oh, I'm so envious, Courtney. You come from a performing arts background. How do you think that has shaped your novels, especially your holiday novels, that performing, I think for For me it's kind of weird because, you know, a lot of people grew up reading, uh, novels. I grew up reading plays and musicals, and so I think there's two ways that shaped me. One. I'm very drawn to writing dialogue, the chunks of, like explanation and description. Those are hard. That's harder for me to write. I could write dialogue. I love writing dialogue because that's what I'm very familiar with. But I think I I learned how to create characters in acting class, and so a lot of it is really similar. A lot of it kind of overlaps with what you know. I think a normal novelist would do where their character, motivation and background, and it's figuring out why characters are doing what they're doing and and what happened in their back story. But I think the other thing is that when I'm making a creating a character, I'm like in acting class, you have to immerse yourself in that character. So you really have to become that character. So there's a lot of times where I'm writing where I feel like I can slip into that because that's what I was taught, you know, I was taught to do. But I never would have thought that it would have informed my I never wanted to be a novelist, so I never would have thought it would have informed writing. I always just thought it would, you know, bringing a character for life on the stage. So it's been really cool to see that part of my life kind of meld with this other part of my life. And I wouldn't trade it for the world. What a great way to approach. It's amazing. You do it so well. So and now these? Yes, you do. Um, Julia. Julia. Wow. I haven't even really I'm sorry, Julie. You remember, Um, both her novel collective and the tall poppy writers, which I'm involved with two and more than that, you're generally just an advocate for women's voices in a really powerful way. Um, I wish we had more time tonight to get into that, because there's so much to talk about. But briefly, how do you think that advocacy shapes the way that you right? Oh, thank you, Yeah, there's so much to say, but I'll try to keep it quick. I think in life in general it's my goal, whether I'm writing or doing anything else to make people feel seen and heard and loved. And so, in my writing, I try to give the message not only a model of compassion and empathy and how to love one another, but to remind people who are going through hard seasons that no matter how unfair life may have been to you or how terrible someone may have treated you, you were sent here to love and be loved, and you are worthy of being loved. And I just don't want any soul in this world to forget that, because it's something that happens to them. So that's my goal, is a writer, and as a human being, I love your such a bright light Julie. Thank you for sharing that. That's really that's really powerful. Okay, Last but not least, Wade, I feel like we are seeing. Where did we go? There You are going to go into your Christmas collectible letter with glitter so much you were...

...saying The secret of snow everywhere this year. I think this must have been a really breakout year for you. Could you talk about what it's like to have your hand your book in so many hands this holiday season and seeing it all over the Internet? Thank you. Yeah, I've been, um, very humbled by the response to the Secret of Snow. You know, it's my first holiday winter novel and it was inspired by, you know, a deeply personal story by the loss of my brother when I was a kid. And that sets the foundation for the entire novel. And I wrote this book as You know, a big holiday hug for readers. You know, over the last couple of years, we've lost 800,000 people. Holidays will never be the same for so many. You know, there'd be holes under the trees and there'll be holes in hearts and empty chairs at the dining room table. And I know what that experience is like. And I just I wanted the Secret of Snow really to be a reminder to readers that it's okay to give voice to grief and loss this time of year that it's okay to feel less than perfect at the holiday season. And yet also to remind readers that we need to celebrate and remember those we've lost. It's okay to feel that and to reach out and give hugs to those who need it more than ever right now. And I can't thank the friends and Fiction group and authors. Um, enough for all of your support. I mean, it's meant the world to me and made a huge difference in the success of this book. So thank you all. Wait, I mean, you're doing such an amazing job with the show that you host, too. It's just so nice to be for all of us to be part of this community together. I think it just means so much. OK, folks, quite sadly, time is running short, but before we let you go, I do believe we have a bullet. Continue, Everybody ready way alright as dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly when they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky. So up to the housetop, the coursers. They flew with the sleigh full of books and ST Nicholas, too, and then filled with gratitude that knows no end. We reached out to thank you, our friends and fiction friends as I drew in my head and was turning around a cross country Christmas, swept by with a bound neck was thrust all in fur from his head to toe. I leaned in to hear the secret of snow, a bundle of toys he had flung on his back and a magical New York Christmas came rushing back his eyes. How they twinkled, his dimples. How merry. It's a wonderful Christmas, I thought how very his droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow. And you could win all of these gifts books, you know? All right, we have four more authors coming up, but in the meantime, don't forget you can win books by all eight of our guests and the four of us tonight by entering on our Facebook group Page Wade Julie, Anita, Courtney, Thank you so much. for being with us so fun and thank you for your beautiful, honest answers. You guys, you guys. Well, that was so funny. My already hurt right now. Mine, too. And they were also wonderful and honest. You gave such just beautiful answers. Okay, So while we are waiting for our next author guests to sign on, Patty, you wrote this month's essay for parade about holiday traditions which will be out in the next week or so. Um, and each of us shared a holiday tradition with you, which I thought was such a great idea on your part to talk to all of us about our traditions, including Megan. Sean, can you tell us a little bit about that essay? It was a really fun essay to write because, you know, sometimes we on the show, we often talk about the origins of stories, but we don't think about the origins of traditions. You know, who was the first person who put up a Christmas tree? Who was the first person who started going from door to door singing like Think about it. Let's knock on some doors and sing right now. It was the first person to put gifts under a tree, and so I explored some of the bigger traditions. But then I talked to all of you and Shawn and Meg and to Ron and really dug into some of the traditions that are built into your families and where they came from and how some of us have taken older traditions like you, Kristen and modified them for for kind of a new world. And how many of the traditions revolve around food and candy. And how...

...many of them revolve around, you know, decorations or gathering of vintage things or family heirlooms, and also dive in a bit, too. Why tradition matters and why ritual matters and how it grounds us not only to the present and to where we are, but to each other and to our community. Because if we're doing something that was done before us, we're grounding ourselves in history and our ancestry as well as into spiritual traditions. And I just loved writing about it and in the essay, all go check it out when it comes out. In a week or so, I talk about where the first Christmas tree came from, and I'm you're going to have to guess, but you'll read about it next week. The first image of gifts under a tree. You're never gonna guess who it was. So I hope you all enjoy it. Great. You want to go around a round table style real quick and share just a holiday tradition, maybe even something different than the one that we've told. Patty. Um, that means something to us as we're waiting for the next authors to pop on. Absolutely. So I don't think I talked about this in the thing. But it's so funny today. My sister is here visiting and my son is here, and my daughter is here with her babies. And, um, we were talking about you know, what if we all just took a big trip one Christmas and left And it was my 23 year old son who said No, we do this, this, this and this in this order, and we're not going to go pick it up and take it to some stranger's house and rent something. And I just think it's really interesting that even no matter how old, they get traditions like not putting the gifts out until Christmas morning, are things that they rely on To feel granted in safe. How about Y'all? That's awesome. We watched the night they saved Christmas every year, which I think I've talked about before. It's made for TV movie from, like, the early 80s, but it's not Christmas in our house until we've seen that movie. It's a little tradition, but sometimes it's those little traditions that kind of hearken back to your earlier days in your early memories. And that means a lot. How About You, Christy or Kate? Or Kathy? Mary Kay. Either one. Um, okay, um, I think for us, and I think so. I think maybe Kathy or make a you do this to, But we, um, open like we get to choose one present on Christmas Eve to open, which is really fun. And I mean, especially like as a kid, you know, I just remember the anticipation of like looking under the tree and picking out. Okay, this is the one I'm going to open one and which is going to be the wine. And, um, but it's just it's like you said Patty. We talk about that, too, Like, well, maybe, you know, in a few years like we'll just start doing a trip every year and we'll go somewhere warm or whatever. And but then thinking about letting go of all of these traditions is really hard. Very grounding. Yeah, absolutely. How about you, Mary Kay? Well, we started a new tradition with the grandkids. They love to watch home alone. So we try to have a family viewing of home alone. That's awesome. Now we can all recite the lines, you know, that's awesome. We just had no watch it for the first time. It was like at the beginning of Griffin knows exactly the point to say, Buzz Wolf, your girlfriend. It's amazing. That's his favorite. Oh, well, you know, I love the traditions. Means so much to all of us and to all of you out there watching tonight, if you have a holiday tradition you'd like to share with us, we would love for you to tell us about it in the comments. But for now, I don't know about you, but I would love to see how this poem ends, right? I mean, the suspense is killing me. Should we bring on the next four authors? Absolutely. And remember tonight we're celebrating. Oh, I heard my voice twice. The 12 authors of Christmas giveaway, which gives you a chance to win 12 novels from the four of us Kristy, Mary, Kay, Kristin and me. And from the eight authors we have on tonight, if you're watching this live, you have until tomorrow to enter. Just look for the posts about each book under announcements or featured on your Facebook page. But if you're watching this later or if you don't want to give away, please do take a look at all of the books. All are new or coming in the next few weeks, and they're all written by authors we adore and recommend. Which leads me to introducing the first of our Final Four author guests. Julia Kelly, who happens to be a publishing sister to Kristin and me since all three of Us are published by Gallery books, is the best selling author of 10 novels, including the brand new The Last Dance of the Debutante, coming January 4th. It's set in mid century Britain in 1958 the last year debutantes were presented in court, and it tells the story of three of the last debutantes ever presented to Queen Elizabeth the second Sean, can you bring Elizabeth on, please? Oh, my God. It's like it's Elizabeth. I'll go by Elizabeth. That's fine.

Wrong with me, Julia, you are now the queen. We don't have it, but it's really been aspiring to my whole life. So, you know, kick me off. You should You should kick me off the show. I can't do people's names. Obviously we w the Queen Julia can net her own sweaters. But I cannot help you to the right name. The knights sweater. It's not like I don't know that I can We talk about the Duchess Queen. Okay, I'm going to tattle on you, Julia, for all of you out there. Julia knit that sweater herself. I admit that sweater. And then I realized it looks like your book cover, so I had to let you know about it. It's amazing. We've been talking about you behind your back all week. It's you. Thank you. Um, is it my turn? I'm sorry. All I'm having technical difficulties. Can you Can you hear me? Okay. Okay. We also have Rachel Hawkins who, like Anita Hughes, has a double identity. I know a little bit about that. Her alter ego is Aaron Sterling. Under that name, she released the Ex Hex back in September. Great Title Under Rachel Hawkins. She's the bestselling young adult writer who penned the popular Hex Hall series, And she also writes best selling women's fiction, including reckless girls, a gothic suspense novel set on an isolated island in the middle of the Pacific. Also coming on January four. Shaun, can you bring Rachel on? Hi, I'm right here, I've got but oh my gosh, y'all as a Southern girl, I have to say Mary Kay Andrews just said both my names. So, like, that was a big moment for me right now. Thank you so much. I didn't know that was gonna happen. So now I'm super sized bathroom. That's awesome. Okay, next up, we have our friend Sadiq a. Johnson with the paperback edition of last year's popular beautiful and crawling novel Yellow Wife, a searing historical about an enslaved woman named Phoebe Delores Brown, who has to survive in the Devil's Half acre, an infamous jail in Richmond, Virginia. That paperback will be out in just three days after Christmas, so get your gift cards ready. Sequa is the best selling author of four novels. And like Julie Cantrell and just like our very own Christie, she is a member of the tall poppy writers. Sean, can you bring her on, please? Mhm. These are my jazz hands. Guys, go back and get his hands. Look at your cute little tree. I'm loving it. Finally, we have Susan Meisner. See how I said her name is that the best selling author of 15 novels, including the nature of fragile things, which is coming out in paperback on January 4? and I love that bug. It's originally detailed historical novel set during the infamous San Francisco Earthquake of 19 oh, six about three women whose lives intertwine in the story of motherhood, love and fear. Sean, can you bring Susan on, please? Hi. I'm crazy. You Well, welcome, ladies. Happy holidays. We are so happy to have you. Now we have a question for each of you and we'll have to keep these quick since we're short on time sequence. Susan, the first one is for you. You've both written novels about time periods that are perhaps less prevalent in new historic fiction these days. Siddiq a yellow wife is set just before the Civil War, And Susan, the nature of fragile things is set just after the turn of the last century. Both tackle very difficult subject matter. Susan, you write about a terrible earthquake, but there's also a character in this book who is as dangerous as the earthquake itself. How did you handle writing about such a tough subject? Yeah, here's the book. It's the nature of fragile things. And, you know, um, dark times fall upon all of us. Um, we can't escape them, and I and I know that's true. I also know that dark places and dark times they don't usually last. We usually get through them. And I think you read a book about a character who has gone through a dark time or has been impacted by a dark person. You can learn things through their experience that you might be able to then bring into your own life at another time. And when I write, it's kind of the same way. I know that I'm writing about something that's probably really terrible, but it's not going to last. I am going to bring that character through it. and...

...they're going to be transformed. And I know dark times do that to us to most of the time, we emerged from a dark time or a dark moment in our in our experience in our life that transforms us. And so we're usually, um, maybe better versions of ourselves stronger. Now we know what kind of, um, courage we have. We know what we know, how strong we love. Um, so it's not all bad. It's just difficult when you're going through it. But when you're writing about it or reading about it or experiencing it, usually a dark moment in your life when you come out on the other side of it, you find that you're you're transformed in a good way. That's great. And sika some of the things Phoebe goes through and Yellow Wife are almost unimaginable. But they were part of our country's history, and we can't forget them. There are, And there are beautiful, happy moments in this book, too. I don't wanna I don't wanna, you know, not talk about those. But if you will talk about the importance and the difficulty of sometimes going to those dark places in your writing Yeah, it is. It is important for me. It's a whole vibe. I have to turn my my whole body over to my characters. And I was writing a scene, probably like two or three weeks ago, and I sent an email to my agent after I finished. And I was like, I have to go to bed like I just need to go get under the covers and and take care of myself. And so you know, these things happen and and that is really what storytelling is for me is shining a light in a dark place and given it enough energy that people can see it, feel it, taste it, touch it and understand that you know, this is where we came from. But we can do things differently. Going forward. Yeah, that's awesome. That's such a great message and such a beautiful, beautiful book. And his goodness received so much praise this year that is so well deserved. So, Julia, your book is also historical, but is set more recently, you've really become known for these sweeping historical tales set in England where you've lived for the last several years. So what appeals to you about writing fiction set and your adopted home. It's a good question, I think for me a lot of it stems from the fact that I'm I'm an expat, but I'm also a British citizen. I'm a dual national, and I've always been interested in understanding a little bit more about where my mother's family is from where I'm from, even though I didn't grow up there. So I think one of the things, as as an author that I often find in talking to other authors is we're always looking for something new. We're always trying to learn something with the books that we write, and this really allows me to learn a little bit more about about myself and my family's history. But then also, of course, about the wider history of the place that I live in now, and it's just a wonderful, wonderful way to sort of really settle in and try to understand, um, the U. K. And and the history over here. That's awesome, amazing. And we have to tell everyone that although we already told them that you knit your own sweater so also so happy, you joined us because it's after midnight in London. Honestly, this is so much fun for me. I'm really, really glad that I could join. This is worth staying up for. Oh, thank you. Okay, we'll be hearing more about Julius books set in England on our friends and fiction writer's block podcast with Ron Block this January. So make sure you tune in for that now, Rachel, My Auburn girl like wild card from romcom to Gothic thrillers to y A why and more importantly, how that you find up writing about so many different kinds and types of thugs. Um, you know, I have a very, like, sort of glib answer that's always like, Oh, well, I was diagnosed with a D. D this year and was suddenly like, Oh, becomes clear now, you know, I think shiny way a lot of especially mothers. My child got diagnosed and then I was going through, like, the testing stuff with him and was like, Wait, I get it. I see. I see now, um, but you know, that can also be a blessing in its own way, because it's a lot of it just comes down to, um, as a writer, I believe really strongly and sort of listening to my gut and and so that leads me down. Weird path, sometimes story wise, career wise. Um, but I always want I always feel like I'm doing the best work that I can do if I'm being true to what my gut is telling me it wants to write. Um, and for me, that does. It just means writing a bunch of different stuff. Now, I'm pretty sure that I'm done with way. I did a solid kind of 10 years there, and I'm really proud and happy of all...

...of those books. But once I sort of moved into both thrillers and romance, I sort of, um, felt really rejuvenated as a writer. It was kind of like, Oh, okay, like I had, you know, we joke about like, Oh, we don't run out of ideas, but sometimes you do run out of ideas. And I had I had really run out of ideas for y. And so rather than sort of panic, it was like, Okay, well, what do you have ideas for? What do you want to do next? And as someone who also reads really, really wild both wildly and widely, what to me to kind of like chase the stuff that I was interested in. So, um, you know, chasing the shiny that catches my eye has has not led me wrong yet in life or in the career. So yeah, it's basically that it's that thing of just writing is hard. So what would make me really happy to write? And that's what I write. It's a great first question to put on the table when you're thinking what to write next, right? It's like you fill me with energy and happiness. Do I want to write it right? Like what? Ideas excite me, you know, because again, like you're going to end up in that. Like, I've written 150 pages. And I'm so sick of this where Britney some words and I hate it. Yeah, you're gonna end up there whether you love it or we're just sort of like, Maybe this will sell. Yeah, So I feel like, you know, at least if you love it like love can kind of pull you through those tough part. Sometimes there's this song in there. Yeah, Okay. I feel like a next episode. Christian Writings for Conviction Album exactly. You know, Rachel, I think it's a good It's a good reminder for readers to I think a lot of us feel like, Oh, well, this is the genre I read in, and so I have to keep reading books in that genre. But, you know, it's about what speaks to you. And if you're if you're called to these books that sound appealing or sound exciting, like, maybe that's your next book. Even if it's not what you feel like you're expected to read. So, yeah. Good question. Good out there. You know, a good section of the bookstore has got, like, so many amazing things like so yeah, I could never I could never limit myself to reading or writing. So true. Okay, ladies, it is now time to finish up this holiday poem. Are you already? Are you ready for this? Okay. As a reminder, we are picking up with our old friend ST Nick, the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth and his TVR list was long enough to wind into a He had a broad face and some fuzzy red pants, and he said he was excited about the debutantes last dance. A was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and he hoped to read reckless Girls as a gift to himself. A week of his eye and the nod of his nature of his head soon gave me to know there were no fragile things to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his life and filled all the stockings with the book Yellow White and laying his finger, which that does not look good. I'm not doing her letting his finger on his pile of books. He gave thanks to all the authors and their great story hooks. Good line. He sprang to his sleigh, But before his reindeer could leave, he said, Hey, Rudolph, we're taking a short reading retreat. Then I heard him exclaim With all his friends and fiction might Happy Christmas to all readers And to all a good night Christian five stars. Very good. Five stars for sure. That was excellent, ladies, if we haven't terrified you or just alienated you entirely by being such dorks. But that would be me. We would hope you would stick around for just a few more minutes because we have one additional question for you after a few quick announcements. Just a quick reminder always for me, because I love our writer's block podcast featuring our dear Friend library and Ron Block. We always post the links under announcements each time a new one goes out and Ron often post little teasers to where you can hear a little bit of it. A new episode launches every Friday. This past week, Ron talked about reality T. V, and you have to listen to it. It's hilarious with Amy Phillips,...

...and this Friday we have a super treat. Part two of Ron chatting with Kim Richie and Gretchen Peters about songwriting as storytelling. I have to tell you all I am obsessed with this two part podcast about writing songs. Yeah, If you're not hanging out with us yet and the friends and fiction official book club, you are missing out. The group, which is separate from us and run by our friends Lisa Harrison and Brenda Gartner, is now 10,000 strong. I'll be joining them on Monday to chat about Christmas and Peachtree Bluff, and then they'll be reading The Secret of Snow by our good friend Wade Ralph. So you saw earlier who writes his viola shipment. The group will be discussing his book on January 24 and make sure to join us for our next episode of Friends and Fiction next Wednesday, right here at seven p.m. Where we will host Maria Amparo Escandon, the author of La Weather, which was a Reese's book club pick. Then in two weeks, join us as we welcome best selling romance author Sarah MacLean. And if you are ever wondering about our schedule, it is always on the friends and fiction website and on our header on the Facebook group page. All right, ladies, before we let you go, we just have one more question this year. Is hopefully going to be so different from last year? Both, for all of us, is touring authors and as human beings in our own lives. What is your hope for this reading community and the world at large this holiday season? As we close out 2021 and move into 2022. Julia, do you want to take that 1/1? Well, I kind of liked what Rachel said about reading wildly, so I hope people read wildly with wild abandon and also read widely, um, and discover something brand new that maybe surprises them this year. I love awesome new hashtag reading that. Yeah, I love that. How about using a friend and I love it. I guess my hope is that everyone would hold on to hope. I wrote about a pandemic, an early one at the 1918 pandemic I wrote about in another book, and I can tell you it ended. It ended. And I feel like our time that we're in right now. It's This is not forever, folks. So hang on to hope the end is coming. We don't know when, but it's come and hang on to hope. And don't forget to love. It's so easy to love. Just hang on to those things. I love that. How about you, Rachel? Yeah, I think you know. My biggest hope is that I do hope that things are safe enough that we can kind of gather as readers and writers again. You know, writing is such a solitary business, and getting to meet with readers and talk to them is such a like, soul filling kind of thing. Um and so and I'm so, so grateful that we've been able to find other ways of doing that. Things like this. Things like zoom visits and things like that. But I do hope that we can all sort of gather in a place. Um, you know, in person, hopefully in 2022 that things will will be safe for them. Um, and yeah, and the same thing. Like, I hope that people continue to find joy in books, continue to surprise themselves, actually said with, like what they read with what appeals to them and just I hope they find, like, the best thing in the whole world is being like finding an author that is new to you, but they've got a back list of, like, 25 books. That's what I wish for everyone. That's the one. Yeah. How about you? You know, for the writing community, I just want people to read and they read things that that burns their fingers like that's the type of reader I am. I love to read a book where I'm just walking around and I'm thinking about it, and I can't wait to get back into it. And so I hope that our reading community. Find those books. And then I hope they will share them with their book clubs and their aunties and all of their friends. And the biggest thing I want to say is that I just wish everybody joy unspeakable, unspeakable joy for 2022. You know I love it. Yes, a perfect way to close out this part of the show. Ladies, thank you so much for spending the evening with us. We all wish you the happiest of holidays. And we hope everyone out there has been so inspired by what you said tonight that they'll go out and pre order each of your books immediately. Thank you, ladies. Happy holidays, everyone. Tonight, everybody. Goodnight. Goodnight. Night. Goodnight. Now make sure all of you out there to stay tuned for our talking turkey with butter ball after show. And don't forget that you can find all of our back episodes on YouTube. We are live there every week, just like we are on Facebook. And if you subscribe, you won't miss a thing. Plus, you'll have access to special short clips. Which Patty? You'll be happy to know. I finally pulled today and finally sent to our clip. I haven't so much of it. Uh, yes. But be sure to...

...come back next week. Same time, same place as we welcome Maria Amparo Escandon. Don't forget to stop by the Facebook page tonight to read about tonight's guests books and to enter the contest to win all 12 novels. Remember, the deadline for entry is tomorrow night. Thursday, Happy holidays. And we'll see you in just 30 seconds in the after show, where we will be joined by friends and fiction co founder Mary Alice Monroe. Good night, everybody. Seeing a second in a second. Oh, episode was so much fun episode You knocked it out of the park, You guys, that wasn't That wasn't me. That was I mean, we just had such We had great guests. I mean, they were phenomenal. So, speaking of great guests, welcome to the talking turkey with butter ball after show. All this month, we're celebrating the holidays with our partner butter ball. What do you think of when you think of carving up a big butterball turkey? Well, I think of family and friends around the table. And tonight we have invited our old friend Mary Alice Monroe back to our table to celebrate. Sean, can you bring Mary Allison? Hey. Oh, my gosh. I hate to see you. Okay, What's your hair is getting, you know, it's going to say that I have to say truly, it was a wonderful show. The comments were great. Especially the wishes for the New Year and the u. K. It was really touching, so well, that's great. So many great books that just came out or getting ready to come out. It's so exciting. I know. I love what Sadiq was said about reading a book that burns your fingers. I had never heard that expression before that I hadn't either. I love That's awesome. Okay, Mary Alice, it's so good to see you. What have you been up to this holiday season? Holidays? I what? I'm a Christmas fanatic. I love it. My tree's been up since Thanksgiving. I love my secret. Guilty pleasure is reading Christmas books and watching Christmas movies. I know, Yeah, shopping, but I think the secret particular. I'm seeing family this year, and I think a lot of us are going to actually go out of our homes and share the holiday. So I'm very excited about that. So exciting. Well, speaking of exciting things, Christian, Patty and I are going to be joining you on Al upon the Wild Dunes Resort next month. And we're so looking forward to that just to is there still time left for people to buy tickets? Because they absolutely you know, we we have a we're gonna sell out. It's moving really fast. I'm so, gosh, January 16th and Martin Luther King holiday. Because it's a three day holiday, a lot of people are actually flying in. And while Jews Resort, which, by the way, will be lovely in January, a cold climate they are offering a discount like 15% off on the hotel rage discounts for meals. And we have added the weekend, and all the girls are going to be talking on Saturday and Sunday. So but the big event is Sunday, and friends of friends in fiction like Caroline's Cakes and Charleston Coffee Roasters, they're all bringing their young MI's for everyone to share. It's going to be just wonderful. So go to all our sites since my Facebook page, wild dunes dot com and get your tickets. It's a perfect fit for your book club for your pal. Or maybe just yourself. I like one for me. One for you. Honestly, it's you know, I've been doing this. This is the 19th year. Oh, my God. I'm go by fast. And I've had first who is the very first? I think petty like a uh oh, uh, 35 people. And now we have near 500. It's really grown, but we've had Let's see, I remember the year Patty Pat Conroy came with Cassandra and Kathy Rights came with her family. Brendan and Carrie and Kathy. Mary Kay Andrews. You've been here a couple of times, had so many great great guests. And this year, having Christy and Kristen and Patty join us and we'll miss you. Mary Kay. Yeah, I'll be up to my ears and copy of it. That's what I under I It's gonna be fabulous to see you all in person again. Yeah, it is. It's gonna be so much fun. And before we know it, I know Ron Block. Let's not forget Ron Block and then the girls and I have a meeting, so it's going to be a...

...friends and fiction sort of Lollapalooza it will be nice to you because I think so many of us know each other just online, and it'll be one of those wonderful opportunities we have to meet in real life. And, uh, and and there's for anyone even feeling a little bit, um, uneasy about pandemic members or whatever, like there's so much outdoor space at Wild Dunes to It's just a beautiful yeah resort. There's so much to do outside. I think it's gonna be a lot of fun. What a good point. Thank you for making that Christian because the beaches there you can walk, going to be very mindful and very careful of all the covid restrictions. But we are really snapped doing badly in South Carolina, and we will be careful and it's going to be wonderful and hurry up and take a look because tickets truly are speeding away. So if you stay in, if you're out of town and you want to fly into wild dunes, come see your favorite F NF members. And No, that sounds good. Give us something to look forward here. It'll be 20 22. I can't, I can't, I can't. It's going to be an exciting year for all of us. I'm sure. I think so, too. All right. Before we forget, this is a good time to remind you that our partners at butter ball are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their Turkey talk line, which started as just a phone line. But now they have a website and a Facebook page, and they're even on Instagram and Tiktok. Of course, we all know that we can call in with the last minute question on Thanksgiving Day, but they're actually open through the end of December. So if you have any turkey questions at all, give them a call or check out their website. Yeah, go ahead. You like terrible, perky story, okay. And for thanks. I was away for Thanksgiving, and so I always have to make my own turkey. So I defrosted it and was already and I put it on the counter. I forgot all about it. You ever do that where you just put something on the counter and you are in the oven and you forget all about it. So I have to buy another butterball turkey and still like, Well, thank you for supporting our sponsors. I love my But maybe that's what happened to that Sharon lady. She forgot her pumpkin pie in the oven. That's exactly right. Have you guys ever put like, boiled eggs on the stove and forgot about them Not explode on the ceiling? Yeah. Happened recently. The dogs really enjoyed what they salvaged from the floor. I am. I've made pancakes a week or so ago, and you know how, like sometimes she put them in the oven to warm, like on the warm setting. Um, and I just completely forgot they were in there until I open the oven several days later to put something else in there. Oh, Oh, yes. Or squash or potatoes or I mean, they just sat there. So scene. Right now, we all evolve into, like, major food talk in the after show, so Okay, well, okay. So, ladies, we talked about gathering around a butterball turkey for a big family get together, but our family is more than just the five of us. Sean, would you like to pull up a chair? And are there any other family members out there who might want to come on? Anybody think Any thinking? Shawn, we were kind of hoping you come on in. Your in your Santa hat, you know, you're pose. And that was amazing. The best moment of Joe. I did a sweep picking up my Christmas card, so just just act surprised later. I think it's a framer. I think we need to blow it up in a poster and have it behind us for the user. I That should be on your eye on your professional linked in Beijing on. So I thought maybe I could get Sean to add to the collection. I Okay, everybody. Yeah, Alright. You all know Sean, I hope who runs all of our tech behind the scenes. And Meg, who is the glue? A k a managing director. And I hope you know what? She's a sparkling blue right blue glitter glue by now you also know Lisa Harrison and Brenda Gardner, who run our book club. And if you spend any time on our page a page look at what you do, you know. Okay, now you never...

...want to live down. Holla are never Never. It was my first Christmas card I received this year. I had to share, Okay, but we have to make sure everybody knows Anissa, who has also been doing our Tuesday launch day Love Post to announce the new releases. Welcome, friends who would like the stuffing it is anybody gonna toss? Would anybody enjoy some tofurkey? No. Alright, folks, now that we're here because, you know, we're all sitting around the dinner table together we would love to play a quick game of would you Rather. And since there are 10 of us, we have to get through those quickly. So, as you know, normal game rules. Quick, fast. One word answers, please. And those of you at home feel free to play along by putting your answer in the comments. All right, so here goes and let me pull this up so I can cue you, and you're gonna answer in the same order each time. So remember where I called you. All right? Would you rather drink hot chocolate or eggnog? Mary Kay. Hi, Chocolate Christie. Hot chocolate Patty. Eggnog Spiked. Who? I love it. Mary Alice. Eggnog. Meg, Which everyone is spiked Stahn I'll chocolate spiked. Alright. How chocolate? Hands down! Awesome! Lisa, Eggnog spiked. Me too. Okay. And Anissa chocolate spiked. Okay, Fantastic. Here. Okay, Would you rather hear the song Jingle Bells or the song? Silver Bells on Repeat for 24 hours straight 24 hours. No break of either song. Jingle Bells Question What is this like torture? Our is We had the joyful episode Now it's time to bring you all down a notch, you know, very, very K Jingle Bells, Chris, Um, Silver bells. Mm. Mary Ellis. Silver bells to Meg. Jingle Bells. Okay, Sean, Silver bells, silver bells. Alright, Silver bells. Okay, Brenda. Jingle Bells. Okay, Lisa. Silver bells and Anisa Silver bells, Silver bells. All right, sister me to your silver bells. Okay. Would you rather binge a day full of new holiday classics like love, Actually or a day full of old holiday classics like It's a wonderful life. Okay, hold. But I don't want to see It's a wonderful life. It's my least favorite. Oh, that's interesting. Okay, I like Christmas girl. Okay, okay. Fair, Christie. I like them all, but I'm gonna say new, probably because love actually is like my favorite. So love, love. Actually, such a good movie. Okay, Patty, I'm gonna say if I'm binging a whole day, I'm going to do the old classics because I haven't seen as many of them as I have the new ones. So I'm gonna say Okay, fair. How about you, Mary? Alice, You know what's crazy is love, actually, is getting to be an old movie I just gave myself. Yeah, I If love actually is in the lineup, I have to watch that. I love that movie. Okay, how about you make definitely new, okay? It sounded like nude, which is another choice. Oh, there is a couple of scenes in love, actually. Oh, my God. Yes, there are. I know a couple of you still have to answer, but we, um, projected movie onto our garage door for the neighborhood once a year. So we always knew, uh, the Polar Express. But a couple of years ago, we were like, Oh, well, we've already watched. You know, we we watched the Polar Express, and we were like, Let's put on love, actually as like, a second. And like, we totally forgot about the nude scenes until they were, like, 20ft tall on our garage. Yes. Now, I would not say that with my parents and one of my friends, and we were like Oh, God, it's likely. All right, Sean. Old movies, new movies are nude. Why not? Uh oh. Movies and everyone in the chest Don't at me. I hate love. Actually, I hate it. I'm sorry. Oh, I feel good. No, No way. Love actually is okay. How about you? I'm gonna say new New, Okay. And Lisa, new and nude. Alright. Uh, I'm old movies. Okay, So and this is going to the classics. Okay. All right. And finally, ladies and gentlemen, would you rather be visited by the ghost of...

Christmas past or the ghost of Christmas future? In other words, assuming that you've lived a less creepy life than Ebeneezer Scrooge, would you like, Would you like a nostalgic look at the past during Christmas? Or would you like a peek at what the future holds? Mary Kay? How about you? Well, you know, I'm going to say Christmas past. Yeah, you have to say Christmas past two. Very nostalgic. Okay? I gotta say Christmas past, but especially the ones I don't remember. Like when I was three or four or fine. That's good. I like that. Okay. How about you, Mary Alice? Definitely Christmas past I would love to see my grown up Children as little kids again waiting. I'd like to see it. I'm tired. Yes, Yes. Oh, my gosh, that's so sweet. How about you, Meg? Definitely past. I'd like to spend some time with my grandmother's again. I love. How about How about you, Sean? Past? I don't want any spoilers. Okay. All right. Brenda, how about no spoilers from either pay? Okay. Past. Okay, Lisa, I'm gonna be the oddball and safe future. Who? I like it. What's your life? And I want to know You want to know as a single lady, I want to know what's coming up. I like that. I like that a lot. Okay, how about you and Lisa? Last, but certainly not least Christmas past, so I could spend time with my parents again. Oh, I love I love that. Well, this was so fun. I feel like I know it's huge. You Christian. Now, you know, I just make up dorky poems. I don't have to get insights. Definitely. You know, I think I would go with Christmas past also just for kind of for the same reasons. You've all said, just, you know, people people we don't have with us anymore. And and glimpses of my own childhood Christmas that I didn't have the maturity to understand or appreciate at the time. Yeah, but luckily, we have Christmas presents, and I think it's gonna be a beautiful Christmas. That's what we have always have. Yeah. Yeah. So? Well, this was lovely. Ladies and gentlemen and gentlemen, but in his beautiful pose way. Well, this was great. So, um, you know, of course, we'll be back next week. Um, this isn't this, isn't it? For the holiday season, But as we said, this was just a fun opportunity to get together to kind of kick off the final, you know, week and a half or so as we're rolling toward Christmas. 10 days, right? 10 days, 10 days from today, days. And, you know, we're so happy that Mary Alice, in a way, that was a weird echo. It's really great to be back. I'd love to love to see you all. Yeah, way before they closed it down. Since Anita is here, I want to announce the fabulous Yes, thank you. Initiative for 2022 friends and fiction reading challenge. We have picked one category for every month of the year, and it's a surprise you'll find out this week will make a big announcement, and it will be spearheaded by our very own Anissa Armstrong. We have put together a category for each month that we think it's not only fun but will also push us to expand our reading horizons this year and another way to fill up the gorgeous transit fiction reading journals. So be on the lookout for post from Anissa each month and will be announced from the categories. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you for doing that. We're so happy you're going to be helping us with that. That's gonna be so much fun. I can't wait to see what people pick for each category. You know, so excited. You and Lisa and Brenda. Huge. Congratulations on 10,000 and astonishing. You guys are amazing. You can happen during the show. Yeah, really? Oh, my. We're, like at 9:97, I think this afternoon. That's awesome. It's great. Let's do January, February March because you guys just had a big announcement, right? Yes, we did. Um, January January, We're doing the secret of snow. Okay, By violence shipment and then February. We're doing the wedding date with Jasmine Guillory. And we also have a happy hour with Ron Block and Nancy Johnson. That's going to be a lot of fun. And Linda, do you want to do March?...

Oh, you want to do March? Brenda? Uh, my mind went blank. Okay. Um, so wait February We've got Jasmine Guillory. March. We've got Chris Wylie. Who do we have? Christina. Lauren. I think I think it was Lauren. So made equation on Winston. I blamed too. It I it I, like called people I've known for 15 years. The wrong Elizabeth. Exactly. It was like I was reading Queen Elizabeth. And then somehow, like my I just went back to I don't know, it's all good. Long day. Yeah, Yeah, This has been so much fun. Mary. Alice! Thanks for coming. You get back together. All right. Merry Christmas, everybody. Happy holidays will still love you guys. Holiday. I thank you for tuning in. You can join us every week on Facebook or YouTube, where our live show airs on Wednesday nights at seven p.m. eastern time. Also subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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