image: header
image: gownflare

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spotlight on Allie Pleiter and Bluegrass Christmas

Today, I bring you another Christmas book and one of my favorite authors to host here on my blog. :)


ALLIE PLEITER is an avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, who writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing. Visit her website at or her knitting blog at

by Allie Pleiter
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired


An Old Fashioned Christmas...

That’s what led new believer Mary Thorpe to start over in quaint Middleburg, Kentucky. As director of the church’s Christmas pageant, Mary’s job is to bring the townspeople together, to remind them what the season is really about. But everyone is all riled up over one very handsome man: the man daring to run against Middleburg’s popular long-stnding mayor. Mac MacCarthy wants change. Mary wants things to stay as they are. Is there a happy medium? Both Mac and Mary are in for one very big Christmas surprise.

Readers, buy your copy of Bluegrass Christmas today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I knew I wanted to give Mac MacCarthy the story--readers met him in Bluegrass Hero--and I knew it was going to be a Christmas book. So I began to think about Mac’s character and what would get under his skin, what could challenge him in ways that would make an interesting story. At some point during my pondering, a toy commercial came on the television and I got to thinking about the annoying song in the commercial and who was behind all that Christmas frenzy marketing. After that, it was an easy recipe for holiday mayhem.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Well, I’ve been known to botch a holiday gift or two. There’s the Lego incident we no longer discuss in our household. And I’ve been the recipient of a fair number of odd gifts, so there was plenty to draw upon there. But the stresses of finding the “perfect holiday” are universal, so they were easy to instill in my characters. I craft my characters pretty much on instinct--I get into trouble when I try to over-think the processes. I did want a cockatoo, once, but never got one. My husband is a huge enthusiast for Nissan Z cars, so there was no question it would be Mac’s sportscar of choice.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Mac would be mint chocolate chip, but for the life of me I don’t have a reason why. Maybe it’s the biscotti Dinah offers him in the opening chapter. Mary, well, I see her as a rocky road kind of girl.

4. Are there any themes in Bluegrass Christmas that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

I never really know my theme until the story’s complete. Again, I don’t start out with a theme in’s a developmental process for me. Bluegrass Christmas is about the size of secrets, though, and how we misjudge ourselves, our secrets, and our neighbors. Lots of people make whopping mistakes in the book, and still Christmas redeems itself because redemption is the core of the Christmas message.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I love to write arguments, mostly because I’m so dialogue driven. And people usually blurt out truths they’d rather not have shared when they’re in the middle of a good row, so it’s fun for plot development. I wrote the scene in the steeple several times before I got it right, because that one was so pivotal and it was so important to me that it be authentic. The big crowd scenes--where the whole town is wrestling with an issue--are technically challenging, too.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Middleburg gets one last visit with “Bluegrass Easter” my Easter novella in Steeple Hill’s March release Easter Promises.

* * * * *

Thank you, Allie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Bluegrass Christmas.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Mark said...

I like Christmas books :-)

Cherie J said...

Great spotlight! I love Allie's writing and would love to read this one. Especially since it is a Christmas story.


Allie Pleiter said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for the visit! Christmas stories are fun, aren't they? This is my first, and I think I'm hooked...

Anonymous said...

Would love to win this one! Please enter me. thanks

Edwina said...

Great interview! I love stories about Christmas, so please enter my name!

Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Anonymous said...

if it's not too late, I would enjoy reading this book...thanks.

karen k

Giveaway Lady said...

I don't know if this giveaway is still open but I would like to be entered if it is:)

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I have emailed you for your mailing information so Allie can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.