Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 month ago

Friends & Fiction with Richard Paul Evans and the launch celebration for Kristy Woodson Harvey's Christmas in Peachtree Bluff

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This episode of F&F is all about the magic of Christmas! On the first half of the show Kristy Woodson Harvey hosts as we welcome #1 New York Times bestselling master of the holiday craft, Richard Paul Evans whose new book THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE will hit stores in November 2021. We’ll hear about his #1 bestselling phenomenon The Christmas Box and how that debut novel reshaped Richard’s life, leading to a string of 35 books, every single one of which has hit the NYT list. Then Mary Kay Andrews will take over Santa’s sleigh (holla!) as the Fab Four celebrate the launch of Kristy’s CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF, which hit stores everywhere on October 26, 2021. We promise you’ll leave this show full of Christmas spirit, inspired to deck those halls and trim those trees—and to get a jump on your holiday shopping. Books make great gifts!

Welcome to Friends and fiction for newyork times, bestselling authors, endless stories, novelists, mary Kayandrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry R fourlong time friends with more than 70 published books between them together,they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinatinginsider talk about publishing and writing to highlight and supportindependent bookstores. They discussed the books, they've written the booksthey're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books andyou're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hi everyone, it's Wednesday night andthat means it's time for the happiest hour on the internet. Friends andfiction. Welcome to our show as we celebrate the launch of my new novelchristmas and Peachtree block and we have a really amazing special guest foryou tonight. Richard paul Evans, the king of christmas we have so much tolook forward to tonight. I'm Christie Wilson Harvey, I'm Patti Callahan,Henry, I'm mary Kay andrews. I'm Kristin Harmel and this is Friends andfiction, new york times bestselling authors, endless stories to supportindependent bookstores tonight because as the song says we need a littlechristmas right this very minute we'll meet Richard paul Evans and celebratemy new christmas in Peachtree blocks and for the past five weeks we havepartnered with Warwick's in beautiful la hoya California as our featuredindependent bookseller you know that we started this from the beginning tosupport independent booksellers and Warwick is the country's oldestcontinuously family owned and operated bookstore so they are are ideal dreampartner for our mission here on friends and fiction browse their selectionwhich includes our books as well as the latest by tonight's guest richard paulEvans, you know that every week we partner with Parade magazine online, westreamed from their facebook page and we have an original essay in theironline magazine every week. This week, Christie right here reflected on theyear her family became the Griswolds of national lampoon's christmas vacation.Of course you can find that s a link to on our facebook page and our instagrambio and on parade dot com. Um, a few years ago that we got somereally over the top christmas decorations for our house. Some of youmight know that my mom and I have an interior design blog called design chicand um, it was really fun. We got to partner with this company and theydecorated our house to the max for christmas so you'll have to read tofind out more. But it ended up a few years later, kind of inspiringchristmas in Peachtree bluff in some ways and um, just made me remember howfun it is. Just sometimes to do something that's fun and a little bitdifferent and try on a life that's a little different from yours even if itjust means hundreds of thousands of people like. So I want to know what isyour favorite part of prepping for the holidays. MK can we start with yousince you're a big holiday prepper. Don't say no to me it's my launch, weuse the word no, I would never. Okay so uh if you know me, you know that mytheory of decorating is too much is just enough. So I go totally overboardwith decorating our house with bins and bins of vintage christmas treasuresthat I have been hoarding for decades. I put on my favorite Phil specterchristmas album and I wait for the moment when Darlene's love singschristmas baby, please come home my favorite. And I fling the shiny brightornaments and the bottle, brush trees and the paper mache a snowmen andsantas and the L's and plaid everything all over the house and then I'm happyand then you have a party and we come. Yeah exactly, I like that last part, Ilike that too. Yeah. You know for us it's just setting the stage in thehouse, it's the, you know the fire crackling in the fireplace which I knowyou guys don't believe me because I live in florida but it does get chillyhere and we have a fireplace. So I mean we wait till it gets to like 65 degrees,we're like, oh it's fired, it's like 85 today, you can see that my outfireplaces made of cardboard, right? Yeah, exactly. No, it really is niceand it may fire and it makes a crackling sound, but it's not real. Youguys let me believe in my fireplace. Okay. No, but for us it's not reallychristmas until we've done the rounds of the Disney hotels, We get on themonorail and we go to the grand...

Floridian, the Polynesian um and thecontemporary, the three that are on the monorail track and they all decoratebeautifully for the, for the holidays, including a life size gingerbread house,the grand Floridian. So we do that, we drink our hot chocolate, we listen tochristmas, carols and then it's christmas, I'm here too early. You'redone that tonight really? But we were hoping to see some fireworks tonight.Yeah, yeah, that's awesome for us. It's just, you know, decorating stockings onthe mantel? Amy Grant's christmas in Tennessee playing in the background andsparkly lights everywhere. And by january my kids plead, can you stopwith the christmas music already? Because that is the only thing allowedin the house from thanksgiving until january 1st is fun christmas music Andthen you know what happens, your kids get older and they lose some of theircynicism and they say, hey mom, what, what happened to that little thing thatyou used to, that little guy that used to put anyone like what santa who's hipstance. Yeah, I used to put this little um, there's this little tree and it waslike porcelain but had these little holes in it and had lights inside ohyeah, those are in them. Yeah. And I'm like, I'm sitting here thinkingwhatever happened to that. Like why is it not in my bathroom, Mom hope you'relooking for that right now. Speaking of celebrations, we have to pause for amoment to toast for both patty and Christy Patti's book. Oh, I almost hada wine already from that last week. Christmas is out this week and launchweeks, you know, they're hard on authors, especially as for thoseauthors who work as hard as patty and Christie do on the road and we knowthat from personal experience because we've been with them. So let's raise atoast a glass to these beautiful wintery books and the authors who wrotethem. Okay, now let's talk about our guestRichard paul Evans. Richard is not just a new york times best selling author,but a number one new york times best selling author and USa today author,best selling author of more than Just a teeny weeny bit 40 novels, wow, he isIn fact, there are more than 35 million copies of his books in print worldwide.That's three and then five, not 3.5 translated into more than 24 differentlanguages. Richard has won the american mothers book award, the Romantic Times,Best women's novel of the Year award, the german list, spur, blah blah blahaward for romance. I took college german okay. And the way that you know,I forgot University of Georgia. That explains it, That explains it. Okay,there are also two first place storytelling world awards. He's also afive time recipient of the religion communicators Councilors Wilbur award.Richard also founded the christmas box International, which is an organizationdevoted to maintaining emergency Children's shelters and providingservices and resources for abused, neglected or homeless Children, teensand young adults. As a result of this humanitarian work, Richard has receivedthe Washington Times humanitarian of the Century Award and the volunteers ofAmerica National Empathy Award. That's amazing. He currently lives in SaltLake City with his wife, Carrie and their Children and grandchildren. Hisheartwarming new novel, the christmas Promise will be released next month.We're so excited to have Richard with us today, Sean, can you bring him onplease? Hi, welcome. We are so bad andcongratulations. Thank you. Thank you. Well we're so happy to have you heretonight. And as you told us backstage, we'd love for you to shed a littlelight on this for our audience because we've we've been talking about you know,all these printing problems and paper shortages and things like thathappening. And you were actually, that really actually happened to you. Sowill you tell us a little bit about the christmas promise and um and a littlebit about the printer delays. Well they were going to release the book onNovember two, which is election day, the best day to release. And we gotalready for it. And my assistant slash publicist, she had more than 300 eventsset up and then we got two weeks ago we got noticed that my book was that thesupply chain to men had bumped it and bumped it a week so you could come onnovember 9th so she had to call all the interview had to call becauseeverything can change it because he changed it and no lie. The day shefinished changing everything uh the day...

...after we got a call and they said weare bumping your book again, we can't have books in time and so um november23rd coming out the week of thanksgiving and my agent of coursewent ballistic. It's like it's like it's not like it's not my fault myfault like they can't get books, there's not enough people working,there's not, it's like it's like we don't have a book, you don't have abook. So Oh wow. Yeah but you know you know my firstbook the christmas box because I saw published it and it sold out it I had Ihad done um gosh I think we have done like 12,000 copies and I did 7000copies. It sold out and then the first of december 10,000 more hit the streetsand they sold out in three days just locally and um I had all jazz runningand everything and it's like well you can't buy the book. I told him it'slike thanks for buying, you can't buy the book and people like to women kindof fist fight over the last copy of the book and what I learned is you reallywant to sell a book, tell people they can't have it. Yeah, so I told peoplethat's like this book, if it sells out before christmas, they printed a lot ofcopies, but if it sells at me for christmas you either get an e book oryou're out of luck. And so the pre orders have been really high so itmight be a good thing. Well yeah, I mean that's a good, you gotta, yougotta make lemonade sometimes right, so good for you for doing that. Well canyou tell us a little about the christmas promise please. Yeah, this ispromise. Um it's I took a bible story of the Prodigal son and I made it theprodigal daughters, there's these two, they call them, it's Michelle andMichelle and they go by Ricky and Mickey uh they're identical twins whohaven't spoken to each other in eight years and Rachelle who the story istold from, she is the studio's, she's a pick you nurse, she's very intense andher sister, Michelle just likes to play and party and um so like right afterthey graduated from high school, Michelle went off to college and umMichelle of course went to tour europe and with a boyfriend and so it's theirstory, it's about, it's about finding what true love really is and what hashappened is her sister has died and she never got to to make up. And so andshe's one day she's at her book riding club and this man shows up and umPhilip story and she starts he helps her start to see that maybe thingsright the way she thought they were. And so it's it's fun taking what was abible story. I think most people don't notice it, but really focusing on theolder son that maybe the older son is the bigger problem than the younger son.And this is exactly, it's like and so it's um I was you know, when I finishedthe book, I thought I wonder if anyone will like this has gotten really greatnational reviews and um that's that's always a good thing. I wasn't sure why.It's like, well uh so people are really liking the phony, they could actuallyget it out there that they could read it. They would really like it. Theymight and I hope they do. I don't know about you, but I'm always scared. It'slike maybe this is the book that ruins me. Remember Notting Hill when Juliaroberts says they'll discover I can't act Yeah, it's always Like, OK, I'vewritten 42 New York Times bestsellers, but maybe this is one that I realized Ireally can't right, after all they're going to pull the plug on me. I knowthey thought every time, so richard you have this great uh, this great line inthe book, the father tells the girls, he gives them these necklaces, right?And he says these opals look identical, but the fire inside each is completelyunique, just like the two of you. So these two women though are at odds whenone of them, as you just mentioned, is dying and suddenly the other one isleft to spend a lifetime essentially trying to atone for the sins in a way.Why did you choose this theme to focus on? Why did you choose this biblicalinspiration? And why did this story strike a chord with you in a way thatmade sense to retail for christmas? Well, I as um, a newly born again,christian, I'm fascinated with the concept of grace and the idea, I reallyused to think I was a pretty good guy and to all of a sudden realized thatthat maybe I'm not as good as I think I am and that I'm broken. And then toactually, to be free from judging others has been an incredible release.And that's really what the book is about. It's about accepting others andsaying, look, I'm broken admitting it's broken um that none of us are as goodas we think we are. And then to take that same grace and apply to others andthen you start to see love as it really is. And so the end does people arecrying at the end of it, It's like, oh my gosh, I didn't see that coming.There was a line at the end of this book that absolutely took my breathaway. Have you had to happen? It's like,...

...oh my gosh, you did not say that. Youdid not. And my agent said the same thing she does. It dropped me to thefloor when I read that, I couldn't believe it. I go, I know it's intense.Um but every now and you get this little gifts, it's like this one lineand you'll know it, you'll know when you hit it, because, like, I can'tbelieve that just happened and people just start crying. It's pretty cool.Yeah, it's awesome. That's amazing. Those little gifts are what keep uswriting, right? Because if we if we didn't get that happening once in awhile where we surprise ourselves, we probably quit altogether because as ourmary kate says, the self loathing would finally went out. Your novels arechristmas stories Absolutely. But as you just said, they pack a tremendousemotional punch From your very first novel, the Christmas box, which youself published. And then it took off, you said, you wrote it as a Christmasgift. Um it's about a woman who mourns the death of her child to the Christmaspromise 26 years later, when twins are parted by death. Your novels have a lotto do with happiness and a lot to do with joy and yet at the same time thereis this immense toll of grief and how we heal from that. Why does thatmessage resonate with you? Because you started there and then this one has thesame things. Well, you know, after I wrote the firstbook, I didn't want to be typecast and so I started to move away and writedifferent books. I did the christmas box. I thought well how do I follow upa book? That's a number one international bestseller. Um there's alot of pressure and so I wrote time piece and it was a movie and it's likeI stuck with it really kind of a trilogy and then I moved up. It's like,I don't want to be the christmas guy And um my cells were really high, youknow, back in those days were so high and they were following every year justa little bit. It's like, Okay, I picked, I picked young, I was 29 and then Ithought with one of my books, I barely hit the new york times bestseller list.I thought, okay, maybe I just have one more book. And so I wrote, I thoughtI'm going to write a christmas book again and that book is called finding a,well it absolutely exploded. They went back for an extra 100,000 copies thefirst week and like, you know what, maybe you should dance with, whobrought you to the dance. So I thought, you know, I love christmas, I don'tneed to be ashamed of christmas. And so I just, I just embraced it, leaned intoit and that's what's happened. So some of the books are more christmas, he isnot a word uh, than others. Some sometimes the christmas is just asetting and sometimes it's a deeper meaning because you know, as dickenssays christmas to me at the time when we can look at each other as fellowpassengers to the grave and hopefully we look at each other with a littlemore humanity. And so that's why I like the scene. I think christmas gives alot of that. Um, and so I, I always make at least a nod, you know tochristmas in my books. Mm hmm. Well the theme is always there but youdefinitely bring people to tears. So I mean maybe it's because christmas doesopen us up in different ways than any other time of the year. Christmas iswhen we, our hearts are a little softer towards family and loss and hope. Andbut I've never, I've always like trying to figure out why things hit the waythey hit and christmas novels do that and yours even more. So, um, I justwanted to remind everyone really quickly that if you have any questionsfor Richard, you can drop them in the chat and we will hopefully have time totake water. Two of those from you guys. Um, but I have a question for you now.Richard, what is it, you know, you, you've made a name for yourself, as yousaid, as uh, the king of christmas fiction and you know, have really sortof leaned into that. So what is it that appeals to you so much about writingabout the holiday season and how have you managed to keep each of these newsstories so fresh? Well every, every book has a different thing. Um, I hadthe chance when my first book hit it big and my publisher is like anythingyou want. I said, well, I want to, I want to have lunch with mary Higginsclark. And so, um, they said for lunch and it was really she was the light andum, but I asked her something, I said, okay, you've been doing this a longtime and all your books are best sellers. How come you're still around?You know that? And what is your secret? And she said, I look at every book asthe best book I ever wrote. Uh, uh, it's like, I'm going to write the bestbook I can and sometimes, you know, the magic happens sometimes it doesn't asmuch, but I thought of that, that...

...integrity and it's like, okay, everybook is gonna be the best book I can write and that, you know, that meansI'm right in the middle of the night then, you know, that's what we, youknow, that's what happens and you know, you bleed through it and that's that'swhy. But christmas is again, it's just kind of a niche I fell into and whenthe new york times coordinated me the king of christmas fiction, it's like,well let's grab that. Yeah, I'll put that crown on. Thank you very much. Ilove that. I mean I think it's a pretty good one. I like that title a lot. I'mmary kate. Do you have a question? I do you know, we touched on this a littlebit when we got one week before everybody came on. But in addition toyour success as an author, you have not one, not two, not three, but fourmovies made out of your books. And we're wondering what role you've had inbringing your books to life in the movies. And also I know you shared withus that you have some news about a feature film coming up. So if you wouldtalk a little bit about that and what your role is in the in thetransformation from your book to the film. Um Okay, so I actually have eightmovies. I very website, I need to update my website. Yeah, but I'm very,I'm very excited to have my first feature film and it stars JustinHartley of this is us, he's the executive producer and Charles shyerwho if you look him up. He's I've seen at least five of this major movie. Shedoes a lot with steve martin. Um Anyway I'm very excited to see it. I haven'tseen it yet but that comes out next year. Um But up to that point I don'tknow okay I haven't had they didn't give me that much connection and when Idid my first book I sold the christmas box to a little local producerbonneville who then turned it to cbs. I mean they were going to change the nameof it and all of a sudden they paid me I mean like Like $30,000 or $17,000 forit and as a reporter from TV Guide said it's like you kind of lost $1 milliondollars on it. Yeah but I was a kid I was pretty excited and it um theychanged a lot, they were going to change the name of it and all of asudden they have the number one book in the nation and then there and Iremember I'm doing an interview. I knew better than to trash my book but theydid some made some changes I never would have made. And and I remember thereport of the T. V. I just kept just goading me like well didn't you hatethis didn't you hate this and you knew she had already written the story andfinally said look I would have done it different. Well then she turns into hehates the movie and then I get called by the director who screams at me andit was horrible and it's like you know it is, it is what it is and you knowwe're talking about possibly doing a remake of the christmas box after allthese years and um but so I really had very little connection, I used to docameos, like I have one with rob Lowe and Christopher Lloyd and I didn'tcameo and my kids mocked me. They laughed so hard because if you've everseen pee, wee Herman when he walked through that in the movies, look in thecamera, that was totally me, you're like oh my gosh, someone who does notbelong on the set and um and I said well I'm not gonna do that anymore, mykids are gonna make fun of me so uh I don't really have a lot of contact orconnection on it, which is which is yeah, which is, it's actually kind ofokay, you know, they just fill my daughter's movie um in Rome and she wasupset that she wasn't on the set um it's like actually Florence Florenceitaly and it's like they kind of do their own thing and some are closer toothers hallmark, it's about a lot of my things and they have a formula and theychanged, you know, they change a lot of it but they have a formula that'ssuccessful and and uh you know it is what it is, would you talk to us aboutwhat you're working on now and if that's already been optioned um for themovies, well, christmas promise, I talked to the producer last week, hesent six of my movies and he loves it and he got another producer involved.It's like we want this, so they're the ones who got Noel Dari turned into afeature because this thing is I think it's gonna be really big, so that'swhere we are, but that's you know, that's neither here and if it happensit happens. Yeah, like I don't alright, I'm a book writer, you know, I lovewriting books and um I don't I don't write for tv or movies, I just that'swhat I do. So that's awesome but it's fun, it's fun to see it and it's kindof cool because I have the family over and also done and watch it and thenwhen my name comes up on the screen based on the book by Richard paul,Evans, they'll clap and it's good, we can turn it off now if you want you getyour own imdb page which you know my Children are impressed with. Yeah,that's funny, it's funny. Yeah um well...

I think that we are going to take a fewlive questions now, we're really, we have a lot of questions coming in foryou from our readers question, do you want to? Yeah, sure Richard Jim o'brienwants to know and I think this is great since you just mentioned your daughter.What's it like having your daughter as a writer? Do you get your fatherlyencouragement? And would you ever do a joint book or some sort of writingproject with her gen? Um first of all people I think was a little bit hardfor her. She was my writing assistant and through two of my series to walkand the Michael Bay series and the Michael Bay series is an internationalbest seller, was huge. And she really helped me a lot and that's what I toldher after eight years, uh jen actually studied this, she went to issue andstudied literature and where I just started writing. I was an ad guy and Isaid, do you hear the music as Stephen King says, you're here, you could write.And And she really was actually resisted it. And finally she wrote abook called carol Carolina Carolina and her writing was wonderful in the book.There was no book there, there's no plot. And she said, and um she said itto an agent to my agent, took it and didn't do anything with it. And it'slike because this is too hard and I would never you know what it's like,ladies that I would never put a child into that much pressure if she wasn'tgood. It would be like grabbing your kid and throwing them in the NFL andthrew him out there, like, go play football, I can get you in and thenthey're gonna get killed the first game. Yeah. It's like, I'm not going toemotionally do that to my daughter is like, Jenna, you're good enough. And um,she kind of didn't do anything. And I, so I, I told her she wrote me, she goes,you know, maybe I'm just not cut out for this. And I go, no, no, no, no, no,that's no, you aren't cut out for this. And And so I contacted my publisher andsaid, look, I know writing this gal can right, she just needs, she had noeditor, she needs some direction. And that's when she wrote loving gelato andthe book sold, I think it sold 10 times what they expected. It's huge. It'shuge. I was just in Beverly hills and her books were all over the gun shelf,which makes me so happy. They didn't have money. But but nowhere in thebooks that she mentioned me, there's no connection, no one's ever made that.And it's sad that some of the local writers are actually, aren't, theydon't really include her because it's like she's there because of her dad islike, no, she's not. She's there because she's talented and shecontinues to, she wrote to other follow up best selling books. But as a youngwoman with Children and you know, a signing with some, he has autism andit's very challenging this time. She goes dad, it's not worth it. You know,maybe I should write later and she and so I have nothing but admiration foryou how difficult it is to be a mother and two, right? And it was really,really hard and she, she bleeds to them and she has seen me believed, I meanshe once said to me dad, do you think your readers have any idea how hard youwork? It was like four in the morning we're writing. Do you have any idea? Isaid, uh, they don't know until, but they have at least a quarter millionother books they could choose instead of mine. So yeah, when they pick it up,they know it's like they deserve that. So she took that same work ethic. Imean I come from, I come from a strange kind of family. My dad had a master'sdegree in social work, but he was also a building contractor. And so we'realways out saturday morning building. Right? So I have a blue collar workethic and but we talk philosophy so it can create a kind of a weird dynamiccamera. So Jenna is that same way, but she struggles with it. Like is itreally worth it? It hurts to write people don't, I mean maybe it doesn'tfor you, but I, I just have a lot of empathy. I'm very, very proud of her.I'm very proud of her and just watching the cool things happen with her booksAnd the bigger thing is she was like this I don't read I'm not a big reader.That sounds awful. I have Tourette's syndrome and A D. H. D. And O. C. D.And because I just it's hard I was always putting the slowest readinggroups and um which sounds worried for a writer Janet was the opposite. Sheread Gone with the Wind three times when she was when she was nine yearsold. So she wrote the book that she wanted to write because she had readevery young adult book that existed. In fact we would punish her for reading.That's how bad it was. It's like you go out of your room now out of your roomyoung lady you know. Yeah so she that was her background so she is um andthat's that's much more literate than I am. You must be proud, you clearly areand that's really nice to see that I think you've spent more time talkingabout your daughter and her book than your than your own. I know. Yeah. Wellyou have been such a great guess. Before you take off would you mindgiving us a writing tip please? You've...

...certainly um written your fair share ofamazing best sellers and we could use a little tip so if you could just youknow yeah my most important thing I would share with anyone who wanted tobe a writer is my personal epiphany after I wrote the christmas box here, Ihave a book this old um gosh, more than eight million copies, it's just huge.It's just, and then I'm writing the next book and I know that everyone hastheir laser pointers on me, they want to destroy me. I can, you can feel it,you can see it, they're getting ready to attack and I am under so muchpressure and it's like, okay, we're gonna pay you millions of dollars towrite another best seller. And I keep trying to write and write it. And aftersix months I have nothing. And one day I'm out writing and that's when I hadthe Epiphany that changed my life, I realized, I don't know how to write abest seller and that was the best thing that ever happened to me because when Iwrote the christmas box, I didn't write it for millions of people, I wrote itfor my two little girls to understand something very, very personal. And so Istopped writing for the world and I started writing for myself, theystarted to write something that I thought mattered. I thought they'regoing to hate this, it's not going to do well, but it doesn't matter. It'sall, it's me, it's all I know. And so I wrote instead of trying to write broad,I wrote very small and then the next book was a huge bestseller and everybook has been that way since then. And I'm always surprised when I writesomething that's very, very personal. How many people whether it's a fatherin Tokyo or you know the book got smuggled into somewhere in Iran. I Ihave have contraband books in Iran have a huge book club in Iran and um yeahit's a they like copied my they stolen there in Farsi and I was like wow,that's that's kind of cool about um and it's like I just write with whatmatters to me and what we find is that we really have a lot in common a lotmore than we think we do. That's a great, great tip and I think right whatmatters to good advice like you and that is that is a great way to get toan authentic story. Well you have been such a great guest, we are so honoredto have the king of the christmas story on our show. Thank you for coming,thank you for coming. Thank you for sharing your advice with us and wecannot wait to read the new book november 23rd share the cover.Beautiful pepper show it again, it's a very common beautiful. Okay we got onmary Kay said well I have a copy of that book, it's like what? Thank you,how did you get my book and I don't have a copy of it, you can tell, youcan tell who's most important, thank you. Thanks for joining us. Pleasure,thank you, take care. We'll look for the book. Can't wait. Um that was great. Yeah. Great. Alright,buckle up buttercups. It's last night for Christie these christmas andPeachtree Bluff and we are here to celebrate, what is that situation? Okay,this is a beautiful hat sent to me by my gonna beg to differ on thissituation. I'm, I'm taking it off now because I want, this is not about sillyhats. This is about a beautiful christmas called christmas, blah. Butokay, I love it. I love it. I just, I was not expecting it and I wanted tosee what it said. What did well what does it say? No, we'll talk later.We're gonna talk about christmas and beach. Stay tuned for the aftershow,Okay. We're not getting safer the after show. Okay, christmas in Peachtreeblock is the fourth installment and Christie's beloved enchanting,marvelous, wonderful Peachtree Bluff series just came out yesterday and thefour of us actually got to spend the whole weekend together celebrating allof our recent releases with for tour dates across florida. Look at us, wehave so much fun. Can we go back? I miss you guys. I know, I know it wasmeg. It was with us too is so great. Oh, it feels sad that we're not togethertogether. We're together. So obviously you're sad. Right? No one here that. Ilove, I don't know. No, of course by Christie. I love her. Okay, I'm theonly one of the three of you or three of you others who did not have a wintryrelease this year. But hearing these...

...ladies talk about their books over thelast few days has fully plunged me into that christmas spirit, which is hardbecause it's 85 degrees out as Christine pointed out. So Christy, Ijust finished your book last week and I cannot wait to talk about it with youtonight. Thank you Kristen. Okay, let's get started Christie. I mean I knowwhat it's about because I not only read it early, I blurbed it, but you tell usabout christmas in Peachtree Bluff and what inspired this story. I know youguys are really, you know, the three of you are really happy to hear this again.We don't know what I what before I say that I have to tell everybody andhopefully you guys follow along with us on our social media and so you, if youdo you know that I've been on tour since last monday. And so I was, youknow, celebrating patties launch with her months of kind of wardrobe andwe've been just all over the place and I feel like this book has been out forlike a month and it came out yesterday. So I'm like tonight, I'm like, oh mygosh, we're finally celebrating the launch. This is so great. Um, but forspecific street block is the fourth book of my feet straight playoff series,but it also can be read as a standalone. A few years have elapsed since the lastbook came out. So you should be able to just dive right in if you haven't readthe rest of the series. Um, but the holiday season is heading toward peachtree blah and so is the storm of the century in the form of a really gianthurricane and slow number seven Caroline who are three grown sistersall head back to peach tree left Georgia to see their mother and fleewith their big families in tow. And um, while they are there Caroline who's theeldest daughter confides in her mother that her daughter vivi who is 15 andit's having some 15 year old behavior for sure. Um, is just giving her such ahard time and she's sort of at her wit's end with her daughter and um, youknow, online school is a thing. And so she says, mom, could you just keep heruntil christmas and if she's in peace, treaty, laugh and everything is magicaland she's with you and maybe she'll be happy and she won't hate me so much andyou know, we can, I'll have a better holiday season that way. And so andleaving the doting mother and grandmother that she is a grease. ButDebbie's bad behavior ends up getting herself and her family stuck on theisland of Peachtree Block during the storm of the century. I mean jimCantori here so that you get the words out of my mouth, that's when you knowthings are dire, yes, when Jim Cantori comes, somebody texted me today, likeone of my friends and my mom and she said her sister texted and was like, ohthe storm stud, have you heard them called them? No, no, I wish she saidthat earlier. I would have called it the storm study in the book. But anyway,our buddy, Jim, I've never heard that many other hashtag storm instead. Maybe we should tag him in a post thatsays we're getting off track. Anyway, jim Cantori isn't Peachtree Block,which means you know, it's bad because he only goes to the worst places. Um,so yeah, you never want your town. That's so true. And so they are, theyget stuck in Peachtree Bluff and it is up to and they have not provisioned forthis hurricane by the way. So it's up to slow and Emerson and Caroline to notonly rescue their family, but also to put Peachtree bluff back together againjust in time for christmas and now you question you had a little personalexperience that inspired this story. Right? Yes, I did. Thank you for askingand welcome. Sorry for all of you. Yes. So in a few years, a few years ago,hurricane Florence came sweeping through carteret County where I liveand just tons and tons of damage to the whole county, including my house. So wewere out of our house for about 18 months and um we lived in 11 differentplaces, it was lovely. Um and I kept kicking you out. Yeah a bad house, youknow when you don't pay rent, that's why I'm staying in tonight rather thanmy house. And like I've heard I think I would have her over here, I forgot Idid have her here. Nobody was so crazy because so many places where I had somuch damage and so people would say like oh you can go like government, ourhouse where you can stay at our house and we would get there and they'll belike black mold all over the ceilings and like they had no idea because theyhadn't been here to see their storm damage because of like the rentalseasons and stuff there. We would like to stay in a place and then there wouldbe a VR video coming in or something like that. So um we moved around a lotand it was just crazy and anyway, I'm glad that's kind of behind us. But butyeah, so I knew what it was like to sort of put a house back together andput a town back together after a storm. But what I was really fascinated aboutwas what about the people that stayed? I mean we evacuated for that hurricaneobviously I mean any any time mandatory evacuation has mentioned like I'm outof there, I am not being stuck And so...

...there are a lot of people that didn't,you know, we've written down every hurricane and we're not leaving and wehad lots of friends that stayed. Um, and I think everyone knew how bad thestorm was going to be, but no one knew how long it was going to last. It wasactually a couple weeks before we were able to get back to even see the damageto our house. So you know, people were running out of supplies and food andwater and we were calling friends and saying like go to our house, you know,we have bottled water and vodka, you know, all the things that you need whenyour power has been out for two weeks. Um, and so you know, I really just wasinterested in what it would be like to have been one of the people that stayedbehind and I knew for a long time that I wanted to write a book about that. Ithought that would be an interesting story. But I knew it was a peach treelove story and I wasn't gonna write anymore Peachtree bluff books. So itwasn't until christmas of 2020 when I thought, you know, I really want towrite a christmas book that I sort of took the storm idea and the christmasbook idea and put them together into one little Peachtree bluff package tiedwith a pink bow. So a gold I know you said that this was a book you wrote foryour Peachtree Bluff readers and fans and I remember you put a call out onyour facebook page. So I want you to talk about how your readers influencedwhat you ended up writing because we talk a lot on here about our communityand how much our readers mean to us. But they are a big reason that youreturned To Peachtree bluff again. And were you thinking about them when youwere writing it? Absolute. So the southern side of paradise came out in2019. That was what was going to be my last Peachtree bluff book. And you knowhow when you, when you finish any book, even if you're meaning it for for it tobe a standalone, you get those messages from people, please write another bug,please write a sequel, you know, that kind of thing. And you know, most ofthe time you're thinking no, I'm not going to do that. And it was like thatwith the Southern Southern Paradise. People say, oh we love this family.Please get back to peach tree. What's when's the next Peachtree coming out?And I would say something vague. But what I meant was I'm never writingmarket street left. Um, and so in 2020, I mean during like the real kind ofdark days of the pandemic. It was weird because it had been a while and youknow, I had another book already out and another one coming and pastry was alittle bit in my rear view mirror, even though I loved it, but I just sort ofgot this uptick in people saying again like every read the series, we writeanother book in the series and um like kind of a lot of them and like actuallymy publisher was getting some too and so it was something that we had talkedabout and I kind of joked about like what is this, this is so weird, peoplewant to like speed street block. Um and so when I got the idea for the story, Iknew I wanted to pitch it, but I really wasn't sure, you know, if my publisherwould say yes because I thought they might be completely done with PeachStreet left, I don't want to go back. Um and so when I pitched the idea, Iwas gonna go back and like take some emails and and then I felt like feelskind of personal, like I don't want to take people's emails and like send them,you know, to my publisher. So I went on facebook and said who wants to go backto Peachtree Bluff for christmas and I think it was the most popular facebookpost I've ever had, which was really fun. Um and so I sent that post in withmy email of my pitch for the book and um yeah, I mean, I, I really think ithad a lot to do with, you know, just seeing that people really wanted to doit and to go back really had a lot to do with it. Um, but then, you know,people really did, they would send me like, I want to make sure that someanswers in this book are that such and such happens in this book because ithad been a few years, so people had things they wanted to know and likewhere people have been. And so at some point I started to feel all thispressure because I was like, this really and truly, I mean, I wanted towrite the book, I had a good idea, I thought I had a good idea for the story,but I wanted to make sure like I was like, this is a book I'm writing forreaders really more than anything. So I want to make sure that they get whatthey want. And every now and then I would go on facebook and I'd be like,okay, I'm working on christmas and peach Street, what do you absolutelywant to see in this book? And it wasn't like plot points or anything, but itwas more like coffee Kyle better being this one or, you know, we don't want tomake sure that, you know, we see the dogs or, you know, whatever. It waslike, people had really specific things they wanted to see and I think I workedthem all. That's awesome by committee. You outsourced it well, I mean, I knowthat you read our readers influence what we write and we think about themand we wonder, you know, so you just took it more directly. It's it'samazing. Yeah, Well, and it's nice too because it was the world you created.So you were just asking people to remind you of the things that werebeautiful and important about that world, which I think is I think it'sawesome and then you put it all in. Yeah, I mean it really, it was fun andthere wasn't anything like too outlandish that anyone was like, oh, wemust see. It was all pretty, it was things that I was like, okay, got that.But it was funny because now I can't remember exactly what it was, but therewas something in there. Oh, I do know what it was, but I'm not going to saybecause it might ruin it for people who...

...haven't read it yet. But there was acharacter that I put in the book that my editor was kind of like, you know, Idon't really know that we need this character in there. Like I know they'reimportant in the first books, but time has passed and it's not really relatedto the family anymore. And I was like, no, I've gotten so many emails askinglike what happened to this guy, like no, we are going to love people that whathappened to him. So it really was, it was like, you know, writing, but I know,I know what happened to him. It can't be, you know, it was jim, I don't wantany kids, I'm really regretting. I kind of wanted to kind of wanted to ask jimCantori if he would come on the show tonight, it's something catastrophicwould have happened to the show and it would have been here it is he the storm,is he the storm stud or the hurricane hunk, which is it? I it I it, I thinkwe've got, we've got live questions coming in. Debbie, Cooperman stoneChristie wants to know there are so many more stories you could write aboutPeachtree Bluff. Are you gonna go there? Literally go there again? Um, maybe I might, I mean it's funnyhow once you get back into something, like as I was writing that book, I waslike, oh, I know what the next, I know the next story in the series. Um, so Imean, I'm not saying no, I really, it was so fun to go back there and Iget the allure of writing a series because you know the characters, youknow the sound, it's like visiting with old friends. Um, I don't want to likeplay it out. You know, like I always want to make sure that I'm writing mynext best book, but you think I have a really good idea for another FleetStreet book book. So I mean it's possible that I might write another one,but in the meantime, I mean the wedding veil comes out in March. I'm working onsomething for 20, I mean, not, not literally right now while on the road,but although you all 300 events Richard was doing, did I hear him? Right? I wasthinking, I didn't hear him right? But I think he must have met virtually asto that he must have meant. Yeah, 303 even map thinking about it. Imean, I think I have like 30 and it's, it's a lot. No, I think you have about300 feels like, you know, I mean it's amazing, wow. Um, but so yes, so therecould be more Peachtree bluff and um, you know, time will tell, but if thereis, it will be a couple of years from now, it will not be like, I'm not goingto write, you know, 14 more peach tree books in a row or anything like that.But we'll see, I mean, you know, we'll see how well see how christmas and bigstreet go. Alright. I, this is amazing already. Okay, jenny Adams wants toknow, did you interview people who stayed during a hurricane instead ofevacuating? I mean, I kind of didn't have to because I'm trying to think of something toequate it to, but I mean, but you guys know like if you've lived throughsomething like that like when you come home everyone's telling their storiesit's kind of like it's kind of like even now already like everyone'stalking about you know their last trip they took before the pandemic or likewhere they were like two days before the shutdown and they had to scramble,it's like that kind of um everyone's telling their story about what happenedduring the hurricane and so I just had so many people just happenstancetalking about you know all the things that happened when they stayed um Andalso I mean I didn't stay during that storm but I mean I have been throughsome hurricanes before um you know in Beaufort and other places and tornadoesand you know and I think that's what made Florence so bad and you'll seethat kind of in the story. It wasn't just hurricane, it was a hurricane withtornadoes. Um and that's what ended up happening to our house. It wasn't evenreally the hurricane, it was a tornado so um you know it's kind of it's kindof interesting but it would definitely be scary to live through and I'll tellyou what, I'm glad that I was not there. You evacuated? Yeah so Christy DeborahDevlin bouvier says I got to know you through Friends in fiction and foundthe Peachtree Bluff series so happy you've written another book. Thank youcomment and Karen Delery would like to know. Um and this is actually aquestion for her husband. She says he's curious to know if you're willing toshare how much creative freedom do you have with writing your books versus theinfluence or direction from a publisher or editor a whole whole lot? I mean, Ithink we I think it's kind of for all of us. So I think we would all say thatthough. Yeah, I don't think they put a whole lot of emphasis on. I mean, Idon't think they have a whole lot of, I'm not saying they don't they don'thave the ability to have a lot of input on what we write they do. Um but Ithink they generally tend to kind of...

...leave that up to us, which is reallycool. Um and I mean, you know, I think theycertainly there certainly if they don't think it's a good idea, you're probablynever going to start writing the book to begin with. But yes, Yes. So sorry,so to back up if it's just your pitching an idea and they're like, wellthat's not gonna work. You know, that certainly happens, but I think oncewe're kind of in there, you know, and I think we all are at a point where wehave editors that we trust and we want their opinion and we like to know whatthey think and we're reading from our one perspective. And so to get to havethese other people's perspectives from someone that you really, really trustis very helpful. Well you didn't you ask them Christy, what do you think?And they immediately went, yes, your editor talk about that a little bit.Well, I was shocked. I mean that really, really surprised me because I um I hadthrown around the idea at the end of Southern kind of paradise of like whatif we wrote, you know, what do you think should we end Peachtree blob,should we do more? And I felt ready to end it at that point, but I thoughtwhat if I come back there one day and um my editor at the time said I thinkyou should totally get like peach Street Block, but I think it should bea different family and I was like yeah, I don't really have any interest inthat. Like the Murphys to me kind of laugh at that moment and I didn'treally have any interest so you know, fast forward a couple of years and Ithought the answer could be no, we're kind of finished with Peachtree Block,let's move forward. I really, I really truly um I think when I tell the storynow, I sound like I was more confident than I really was. Um my agent thoughtit was a really good idea because the series had just continued to kind ofhave these legs after those couple of years, but we weren't really sure andand I've said this in my talks. But um I started writing the book. I pitchedthe idea and they were in, my editor was like, well, I like it, but I can'tget you a deal until after christmas and I don't know, you know, I don'tknow, I like it, but they might say no. Um and so I wrote it anyway, so it waskind of mine and I thought, well if they don't buy it, I'll do something.Yeah, he wrote 4000 words a day for 20 days by the way, which is like for, youknow, I guess for people who, who aren't professional writers, that'slike warp speed, yep, that's like total fiction on Red Bull, I'm like, LoisLane at the type, I'm gonna say this too. And I think that goes back to thepoint of series, you know, when you know that town so well and I know thosewell, she froze up. You froze, oh, you'reback, you're back. We thought it was really fun. So anyway, thanks guys forbeing there and supporting me and helping me power through to write it,right? She's a machine. You loved us in the dust baby. I know you were like,I'm gonna join you and then the next thing, you know, we were just lookingat smoke baby just smack. Okay, yeah, we want to remind you all of you outthere to check out our friends and fiction writer's block podcasts. Wewill always post links under announcements each time a new one goesout. It is so much fun with our rock star librarian Ron block and it'stotally different from the show. So if you like hanging out with us here, weknow you love hanging out with us there and he might be stopping by the aftershow. I'm not cause maybe anyway, they are every friday. And this past weekRon and I talked to chris, Ron talked to me and Christie about our new novels.I've been on the road. Y'all give me a break this week. I'm talking to Jennabloom about her memoir would grow on the bench and to quote him on an emailto me, get your Kleenex, that's going to be a good one. Um, well speaking ofpeople who may or may not be appearing on the after show, we neither confirmnor deny Rhett Gardner run are phenomenal, phenomenal. Just addedextra official friends of fiction, official book Club, which is a groupthat suffered from us. They're 9.5 1000 members strong. I mean they're justgrowing and growing and this month they're reading once upon a wardrobe bypatty, which they'll be discussing with patty on november 15th. So it's a greatgroup. Um, it's an extension of this group, but they do so much moredifferent stuff and it's just a great place to be. Yeah. And next week joinus right here at seven p.m. As usual as we welcome Msibi Owens. Um, and then intwo weeks join us and meet Armando Lucas Korea and Catherine Ray. And ifyou're ever wondering what's on our schedule or our dance card, it's alwayson the Friends and fiction website as...

...excuse me as the as well as a sidebarof events on our friends in fiction facebook page and one more thing youtube which is,you know, you can do more than learn how to paint a pumpkin on Youtube. Wewant to remind you we're on Youtube every week we are live there. The showstays there with titles and now we have clips of each show so you can watchbits, bits and peach bitches and pieces at your leisure. Bits and pieces. I cansay that. Just head over to Friends and Fiction. Youtube. What are you laughingabout? You think? I can say that? I can say bitch if I want to. You're not theboss of me. We know we are not we, No, no, we're aware. Okay, so go to Friendsand Fiction youtube and click subscribe and you can catch us to on the brandnew loco plus pet platform which just launched last week and that's it, that's me and that's it.That's my cute that's it for our show tonight, but it's always, we'll becontinuing the celebration on the after show. So stick around after the creditsroll to find out what's written on mary Kay Andrew, this is killing us. Um andwe'll be talking a little bit more about the world behind christmas beatstreet block celebrating with our dear friends, Ron block, lisa Harrison andBrenda Gartner. And we thank you so much for your support. I hope you'llconsider picking up christmas and Peachtree block and we'll see you backhere next week. Same time. Same place as we welcome Zb Owens. CN 30 secondsin the Lambo. Yes. You know when you come back with thehat on, I can't even really tell what it's on. It. It says it says happyholidays because somebody, some, several, somebody's decided to ridiculeme because I was trying last week, I was trying to be all hip and trendy andI might have said Holla. And then did you already have that Hattar? Didsomebody know Christie said it to me, there's a t shirt too. You know, it'slike, it's like a, it's like a tidal wave of ridicule you. It's supposed tolight up, there's like a button that says on off but and you got to telleverybody what somebody brought you when we were on book tour last week.Mhm When we were in santa bell sometime in the past two days. Um Someonebrought me a loaf of hallah bread, was it nancy? It was nasty. It was nancyStetson a great writer. Who did a feature story for the southwest floridapaper about all four of us and she brought a loaf of Hallah bread. Sohilarious. Okay, Christie. How are you feeling about the book and your tour sofar? And tell us everything. Tell me how you're feeling. Being with you guyshas been so much fun. Seeing all of our friends and fiction people has been somuch fun. Um I want to put some peer pressure on from the outside because Ihave really suggested that um that everyone come on tour with me on March29 for the wedding veil and like I'm not having any takers so far. Sofriends and fiction. If you could just really like plug that that we thinkthat would all be a really fun idea. But it's just so fun to all be together.I mean it's just so fun to like beyond stage together and talk together andjust to see all of these amazing friends and fiction readers and nonfriends of fiction readers to that were indoctrinating slowly. Exactly KristenKristen brings brings the snack and the wine game, it's like a major snack. Egewine game that Kristen has going on question game the Q and A game man,she's like he's so good. Did you guys invite me for the snacks and the linethat with maybe we have a new book we kept, we kept you for the greatquestion. What would you ask that? My favorite? Why would you think that?Yeah, you should see the spread that she brought up here tonight. I mean allthe food. It's unbelievable. She like really fed me and it's incredible. Umbut also I think my favorite moment of...

...tour was when fatty when Kristen askedfatty a question and I did it too. So what I'm not saying this about you likePatty said, gosh, I have to think about that. You know, we didn't know what shewas going to ask. You christian was like all of you the questions for allof you. But I read the questions. I want that known. I read the questions.I didn't read the question. I never went and called it up except Patti waslike, well she didn't send the questions. I was like, no, I didn'tmean it that way. I was like, oh, I have to actually think about that. Ididn't know what you were gonna ask. Well today and to be fair, my booksbeen out for a month right now. All I'm doing is trying to finish a book ontour. That's all. Okay. So my report cards might have said a couple of times.Patty was unprepared. You're echoing the sentiment that has been stated inprevious times. Well, my report. Yeah, my report card always said Kathleenvisits with her neighbors, which means won't shut up. I will just let you knowthat we're all reading a lovely script for after show here that someone who isin no way in no way shape or form in charge of tonight's show had to write.I just, I'm just bossing what you're saying. I, but I bring the food and theone that all christian gets here, we can all relax because we know it'sgoing to get done. That's basically what it's all gonna be okay here and she will fix it. It's justkristen stickers or something. Yeah. Alright. I think we have guess. Yeah, Iguess and lisa and Brenda and Shawn and meg, you talk a little bit of thegang's all here. I the, I feel like we need a legit friends in fiction,christmas t shirt that says happy holidays. Well now christmas sarah, shecan send you the link christians were, we need your face on it. Like you're no,no, no. I was thinking Ron I got one vote, oh, I'm a christian the top andthe ships know we're celebrating somebody's new book and I'm justdrinking. So you guys so much for joining me to celebrate and christmasand Peachtree Bluff is about a family who gathers against all odds to salvagean incredible christmas full of love and heart after the storm of thecentury rips their lives and their towns apart. So I don't think any of ushave had anything quite that devastating is the loss of our homesright before the holidays. Um, but there's probably been some challengesthat we've all had to overcome at christmas time or maybe even challengesthat you're facing this year. So if that's the case, I'd love to hear aboutthat. And if not, I'd love to hear about your thoughts of the magic powerof the holiday season to wash away our troubles and fill us with hope and loveand joy. So our darling Ron, can you start us off? Why do I gotta go first?Just if we wasn't happy to go, if we ask mary Kay to go first, this is whatshe'll do. No. Alright, okay. So I actually, I'm hoping that we're goingto do a special podcast for the holidays and I'm saving a story forthat one. Okay. But for tonight I have, everybody who knows me knows that Igrew up in a very small town and there wasn't a lot of, a lot of people aroundand stuff, but one of the things I loved and it didn't always happen onchristmas, but maybe soon afterwards. But there was always this beautifulsnowfall that came down and you could see it reflecting the lights and as itcame down and kind of landed on the street, no snowplows. It just, that'swhat it really felt like christmas. It felt like the holidays and a newbeginning and it was just really awesome and I still think of it today.Yeah, that's beautiful. Oh, that looks like your, uh, so can appear on theshow behind the scenes magic for me. I haven't really had too many challengesaround the holidays, but last year, because of Covid, it was such achallenging time. I decided to put my christmas tree up in july last year andI never took it down, I'm like look there's no rules christmas trees up. Ihave Halloween decorations on my...

...christmas tree right now, I'll takethem off. I put ST Patrick's day decorations on there, it just brightensmy living room and makes me feel good. They were challenging time. So I feellike holidays can always make you smile no matter no matter when it is, it's permanent, permanent. And we hadtreated our backyard that we put christmas lights on a year ago andthey've never turned off, we've left them up all year, the same thing asyou're saying. Yeah. Okay, Brenda, my darling, what about you? Yes, well Iwould say one of my favorite traditions is um my daughter and I putting up ourchristmas tree, which sometimes I have a real tree, but I have this large umartificial pre lit tree and each year we get to struggle with the threepieces, it's in and getting them all out of the closet, getting all togetherand all of the lights working, but it's all, I look forward to it and then shegets to hear the story of all the ornaments every time and she loves meuh that's awesome. Um what about you were gonna have this week? Um so thisis actually very prescient considering your book Christie and the date on thecalendar today, but Superstorm Sandy was in 2012, right? What's on this?Instead of days went on for days and days. But Doctor Doom jim Cantorihimself was here. Doctor Doom is a much more appropriatename. It's just, it's just like your book. But the reason why it affectedour christmas was because we lost our um our entire H VAC system in our houseand our family room. We have like a sunken L. O. L. Level in our house andthat was filled with river that came in through the crawlspace and devastatedour family room and my husband's office and the garage in the crawl space. Butwhat was in the crawl space was the entire heating and cooling system forthe whole house. So we didn't um and the whole run up to the holidays, whichis supposed to be super festive. It was not and it took me to get, there was a huge project toredo and to reduce the track system and we didn't get Eat back until December23. Um Oh my God and we were like determined to make christmas normal. Imean my kids were, that was nine years ago, they're going to be 18 and 20 sothey were little nine and 11 and so we try to make it as normal as possible.um you know like we were decorating and we put the tree up and we put it in adifferent spot and we made sure the house looked as good as it could justdon't turn around because it's a ship show behind you, decorations on theoutside were great but we went in the garage to retrieve our christmasdecorations to decorate the tree and all the boxes. We didn't realize allthe boxes water had gotten that river water had gotten in uh they were allruined like all the ones like the kids made all the handy, covered in blackmold and so this does have a happy ending. I put it up on facebook, not aslike a woe is me, but just as like what else could happen, you know like goodGod and you know I said like we lost most of our christmas decorations wellthat day and for the next three or four days people just started showing upwith stuff and different things and stripping things and we now we have themost spectacular collection of christmas tree ornaments because peoplewere like here take this whole box of stuff you're not using or I justordered you these 12 things from pottery barn or whatever, so peoplereally did put together and we made the best of it and then the heat did comeon two days before christmas and that was that warm. Think right up, wow, I'mnever I love that story. Oh man alright sean what about you? Oh I was allprepared to be funny and way but I just remember I remembered last christmas mydad had covid and he was in the hospital, he was like a step away fromgetting on a respirator and you know it's just we were just calling everyday, I'm here in New Mexico. My whole family is on the east coast and mysisters went to to help my mom and take care of all that stuff and it feltreally weird to be so far from it, you know, God my dad had a full recovery,got out of the hospital and yeah, that...

...was a hard, definitely yeah catholic mechanically, well one year, Idon't know, nine or 10 years ago in the, in our previous house, in the samelittle Mayberry with cocktail neighborhood that we've lived in for somany years. Um everybody knows how much I love todecorate for christmas and so we've been on the neighborhood christmas tourof homes, I don't know, maybe five times. So we were on the christmas tourof homes that year and of course I'd made my whole family insane by sayingyou gotta do that, get up. Um and so we had put up the christmas tree in thislittle sunroom in the front of the house and my husband had strung thelights and I had put my whole collection of vintage glass shinybright ornaments on it and some neighbor friends jokesters were walkingup to the house to give us some crap about, are you guys gonna be ready? Youknow, have you swept the house? Because I was making everyone insane? And asthey were walking up the christmas tree went, oh the glass ornaments shattered andthey these two guys looked at each other and went, dude, we're out, ran,ran away. And then so then my husband, Mr M. K. A basically ended up, I mean Idon't know how many were smashed in ruins, but we had to you know, we hadto have the tree back up, so he he literally wired the tree to the, to thewall, oh my gosh, and then I went out andbought more ornaments, so it does have a happy ending quarters, get aboard,decorator's gonna decorate. That's right, that's right, I don't think anything superchallenging the terrible happen at christmas time, but I remember lastyear, you know, just in the midst of Covid and you guys all know we wereplaying it so safe and people being, yeah, no problem uh oh anything for you to come back,all of these, all of these normal christmas things we did, like I saidearlier, our tradition was always going to Disney and do the monorail movie atthe hotel's, we didn't do that. Um and I felt very responsible for makingchristmas magical for a four year old because that's, you know, that's theage, you only have those few years where it's her and magical and you know,even everything related to the spirit and I was so worried about disruptingthat. But I think that what we learned at the end of the day was it wasn'tabout places you go or you know the gift giver or any of those things, itwas that we were together and we were safe when we were with our family, weloved each other and we were surrounded by love and I think that's somethingthat christmas and Peachtree Bluff celebrates to, they don't have thechristmas that they're expecting to have, but they have each other andthat's, that is the end, is what matters. Yeah, that's true, true daddyHenry. Well I was going to tell, I knocked over the christmas tree storybut it's not, I was, I was pregnant with me again and she was a weekoverdue and we decided to have a dinner party and I was so proud of how Idecorated the house. We were, we'd only been married a couple years, we hadthis new house, I was pregnant with our baby and I went behind the christmastree to turn up the stereo for the christmas music and forgot about mystomach, so I knocked down the entire christmas tree and I went shatteringeverywhere and anyway, but I think you know when we talk about trying to findand fill it with hope and love and joy, it's never about all the presence andall of that. But I was really, really sad last year because I didn't get tosee my daughter and son in law and granddaughter um you know, for thatwhole time during covid and christmas has always been a big family holiday,all the parents, all the, you know the whole thing and at the last minute theywere able to come and the entire house was full of toddlers and my sister inlaw and my nieces and both sets of parents and it was just, it was like amovie where we thought it was gonna be this empty sadness and it was pure andutter chaos and it was amazing. Um well I mean I guess this, thisinfluence christmas and peach Street...

...left, but the first christmas afterFlorence, we were in this little condo and I remember my husband being like,let's just get like a little tiny tree and I was like, absolutely not, we'rehaving the biggest we've ever had and I went on a diet, one could walk aroundin the condo, like you wanted to get to the kitchen, you have to walk aroundthe tree if you wanted to get to our room, you had to walk around the tree,but man, we were having a tree and so the next year we moved back into thehouse right after thanksgiving the first night that we were there, Iturned the bathroom on upstairs, the plumbing exploded and it wanted thedownstairs like living room and um to the point like some other workers crylike they were like how can this happen? Like this is just cannot happen. Sothey were great and they're trying to put it back together really quickly,but we had to get our christmas tree, so we had like this whole, the frontpart of the house being fixed again and had the ceilings and walls all outagain being fixed and so we put in all the brand new furniture that was alsotrue in by the thousands of gallons of water explaining So we put thechristmas to read somewhere different than what we normally put it and wedecorated and we had hot cocoa, we pretended that there was not this goingall over the house and they acted like it was normal. Um and so the next dayum they had worked really hard on the house and it was getting back togetherand someone came to install the new rug in the living room that just floodedand they had it on the dolly and they whipped the dolly around the rug, wentinto the christmas tree labor it smashed all the ornaments on the sideevery december 29th so we had all these ornaments and little will remember himlooking at me like because I'm really big on my ornaments and I was like,it's fine, we're gonna go out and we're going to find something new and we'regonna put it on that side of the tree and we're gonna keep going. And so thatyear we went out and we bought like 1000 jingle bells, I'm not really adoll and it's probably 150 jingle bells and we put them all over the side ofthe tree where all the ornaments of smashed and so um, and every time wewould get by, someone would be like, every time a bell rings, an angel getsbetween though, I've heard all the stories for me as it does for all whotruly believes uh it was kind of good and now every year we have all thesejingle bells and it's kind of great. So anyway, you know, you just, you justpower through and you make the magic where you can and that you are reallygrateful for things that you sometimes take for granted I think. So we'rereally looking for pretty normal. You see christmas but actually, and we were all at OxfordExchange for patty's launch and savannah, I mean not at Oxford changesthe paris market and they had all these beautiful felt ornaments and I've madea pact felt that I will never again by breakable ornaments, I'm just not goingto do it and they had all these tournaments and I got this huge bag offelt ornaments that I felt would really like. So I decided to take it jinglebells and felt ornaments and it'll be fine. Well thank you guys so much forjoining us here tonight. This is so fun. And um Paula, thank you guys, thank youfor coming on tour. Thank you. Thank you for reading by the damn Look,thanks everybody. Christine cheers, thank you for staying, enjoy it. Ithank you for tuning in. You can join us every week on facebook or Youtubewhere our live show airs on Wednesday nights at seven p.m. Eastern time. Alsosubscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here. Yeah.

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