Let’s all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.
Title: Silent Days, Holy Night
Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas
The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house…
Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .
When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.
Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.
Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.
She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.
Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.
Hi Phyllis! Welcome to the blog!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Phyllis: Organizing is my superpower– words, scenes, closets, the pantry, my files – you name it, and I can organize it. And when it’s done, I feel so accomplished.
Carrie: There is a huge sense of accomplishment when everything is organized!
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Phyllis: Fiction – I want to see what is new.
Carrie: me too!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Phyllis: At home, I have my comfy chair where I’m surrounded by tables and I can stack papers, notes, books, and my cup of tea. And when I look away from my computer, I’m looking at miles of Texas Hill Country – sights that feed my soul and stimulate my creativity.
Carrie: oh that sounds divine!
Q: Which character in this book was most difficult to write?
Phyllis: Julia, the ten-year-old main character was a challenge. Making her loquacious and inquisitive and yet maintaining the voice of a child kept me up at night. I wanted her to be kind, and yet I wanted her to look honestly like a precocious ten-year-old who is learning how to be in an unkind world.
Carrie: That would be a delicate balance to maintain, I think.
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Phyllis: I always know how to start and where I want the story to end, but honestly, sometimes these characters visit me in the middle of the night with ideas for unexpected notions that I never planned. And then sometimes in the creative process of a writing day, surprising twists take me to new places. Fortunately, I can always find my way back to the clean line of the story, but often these serendipities are rich and fun and bring an element to the story beyond me.
Carrie: haha i love that characters have minds of their own
Q: What inspired the idea behind Emerald Crest & Henry Lafferty the Second?
Phyllis: My career was in cable television where my husband and I started a cable network with health and disability programming. We were committed that our workforce would always be made of people with differing abilities. I had the joy and pleasure of working with a number of people who were deaf, and I chose to learn Sign Language so that I could communicate with them. I drew heavily on those experiences in creating these characters and the dynamics in their relationships. I so enjoyed “living” at Emerald Crest while writing this book. I actually sketched a floor plan and placed furniture. I knew every creaking stair, the scene from every window, and the stacks of books and carved birds. It was a magical and beautiful place. I do hope the readers enjoy its magnificence.
Carrie: i love that!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Silent Days, Holy Night?
Phyllis: I want readers to realize that life is lived fluidly but remembered in poignant moments and to savor those moments. Those moments are often life-defining as were some of the moments in SILENT DAYS, HOLY NIGHT. I also want the reader to see the power of one small act of kindness and how that kindness can make a huge difference.
Carrie: So true!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Phyllis: I’m so grateful to connect with you and your readers. The sequel to RETURN OF THE SONG will be out in the spring, and I’m working on book four in that ROCKWATER series now.
(1) winner will receive (US only):
- a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
- a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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