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Today’s Wednesday Writer’s guest is author Alice K Arenz. She’s going to be starting the Wednesday Writer’s Christmas season off early with a peek at the research she did for her Christmas book Hiding from Christmas, clean, fun, light romance with humor, and recipes. I love Christmas stories, and Alice’s book hits all the buttons for me. So, without further ado, here’s Alice and her excerpt from Hiding from Christmas!

Thanks, Catherine.

Writing Hiding from Christmas was a true “labor of love.” Not only is one of my granddaughters on the cover, but the book itself is something I never thought possible for me to write. Every time I turned around, I was doing more researching, checking and rechecking to make certain things were not just possible but believable—that’s what you get when God gives you a story about a non-existent company and then you have to learn different things to “populate” the company. He gave me the name of the company—Ornamental—and then helped my imagination to soar! All this when He knows how much I hate research! And, boy was there a lot of it!!

The most exciting aspect to all the research came one Saturday when my husband and I took a field trip to Bonner Springs, Kansas, to visit The Moon Marble Company—a wonderful, old fashioned store with everything marbles and glass blown pieces for sale. AND, a demonstration of lampworking with the end result—wait for it—a marble formed right before our eyes!

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with David (that’s all he’d give me) before the demonstration. He confirmed the information I’d already gathered plus added a few more gems that helped breathe more life into the glassblowing tour Maddie takes in the book.

All in all, it was a difficult, albeit an exciting book to watch take shape. As a seat-of-the-pants writer, there were plenty of discoveries and surprises around every corner. I’m always amazed how God leads me when writing, and love the journeys he takes me on.

 

HIDING FROM CHRISTMAS

by Alice K. Arenz

 No matter how hard she tries, Maddie Kelley can’t seem to fit in at Ornamental, a company founded by her great grandfather and his best friend. Now, after yet another screw-up, she’s been sent into the “enemy’s” camp—two hours away from home for the next two months.

A punishment or a blessing?

Her life is turned upside down when the mundane turns unexpected, and she finally discovers where her heart truly lies.

Though not part of a series—yet—this is the fourth novel set in the fictional Missouri community of Tarryton—others include The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, The Case of the Mystified M.D., and The Wedding Barter. Come visit old friends and make some new ones!

EXCERPT:

Here’s a little something to tease you. This excerpt is from Chapter 5—a little introspection from Maddie that you just might find amusing!

Daddy used to say I’d been born under a lucky star, blessed by the Lord with a kind heart, pleasant personality, beauty, and intelligence. When I was little, I’d believed him. Mostly about the intelligence. School had always been easy for me, and I’d been fortunate to make a few good friends along the way who’d stuck with me through thick and thin. Until I was a sophomore and deemed a jinx. Then, they’d nicknamed me the Master of Disaster!

Trying to convince superstitious people that I wasn’t responsible for accidents which appeared to occur whenever I was around hadn’t worked. Coincidences didn’t happen in “their” world. They even claimed to have tested it—at their peril—and had undeniable proof. I’d been promptly kicked out of the pep squad because my presence around the cheerleaders invariably caused their routines to go horribly wrong. Pyramids toppled over into a mass of arms and legs, jumps and splits created injuries, and the list went on. The same thing happened when I attempted to participate in flags and majorettes. The school’s marching band was never the same after that fiasco. Since another dog pile of students was too great a risk, banning me from games became a consideration—though quickly overturned for obvious reasons.

It was suggested I try alternate extracurricular activities, which was fine by me. I loved singing and thought choir and glee club a perfect fit… until some risers collapsed in the middle of a performance. And, when two members of the drama club actually broke their legs on stage, I was gently but firmly asked to refrain from group participation projects. On behalf of the students and their parents, I agreed, and stayed as far from the action as possible—yet still remain in the school itself.

I didn’t believe any of it was my fault—I never fell or was even part of the strange incidents. Mass hysteria and the general clumsiness of my schoolmates was the more likely explanation. After all, many of the people involved in cheer and flags were also members of the drama club and choir, so it stood to reason that if they couldn’t stay on their feet in one activity they’d be unlikely to do so in another. Besides, if their assessment of me was actually true, why had each of these groups continued to request I supply them with baked goodies long after I was kicked out? The candy and cookies were welcomed; I was not.

To be honest, I’d only tried the activities because my mom and teachers had encouraged me to do so. I’d always been confident when it came to my studies but extremely shy and introverted in front of a lot of people. I didn’t like the spotlight and would never have sought it on my own. When it came to classroom group projects, however, I was a take-charge kind of person. There were always fellow students vying to be on my team—and it wasn’t just the baked goods I supplied during our work sessions. They knew my reputation when it came to school; an A was practically guaranteed when I was involved. And, if more proof of my innocence was needed, the “accidents” hadn’t followed me after high school. Other than my inability to find the field of study that would propel me into the future, nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Want to read more? You can find Hiding from Christmas on Amazon 

About the Author:

Alice K. Arenz has been writing since she was a child. Her earliest publications were in the small, family-owned newspaper where her articles, essays, and poems were frequently included. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Arenz is a Carol Award winner and two-time finalist. She writes “clean” fiction as well as Christian fiction in a variety of genres and lengths. Hiding From Christmas is her fourth book to be set in the small, fictional community of Tarryton, Missouri.

Visit her at her web site: http://www.akawriter.com/