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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spotlight on Winnie Griggs and The Christmas Journey


WINNIE GRIGGS is a small town girl born and raised in Southeast Louisiana’s Cajun Country who grew up to marry a country boy from the piney hills of Northwest Louisiana. Though her Prince Charming (who often wears the guise of a cattle rancher) is more comfortable riding a tractor than a white steed, the two of them have been living out their own happily-ever-after for 30+ years. During that time they raised four proud-to-call-them-mine children and a too-numerous-to-count assortment of dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, turtles and 4-H sheep.

Winnie has a BS degree in mathematics and has held a job in the electric utility industry for more years than she cares to contemplate.

Her favorite activities, outside of writing and reading, are cooking, exploring flea markets and pretending the growing army of dust bunnies who have invaded her home will disappear if she just ignores them long enough.

by Winnie Griggs
Published by Love Inspired Historical


Philadelphia lawyer Ryland Lassiter is everything Josephine Wylie wants--for a brother-in-law! As the sole supporter of her family, Josie's plans for herself have always had to wait. But Ryland will be ideal as the new head of the Wylie clan...once he finally realizes how perfect he is for Josie's sister.

Ry knows it's time to settle down. The newly appointed guardian to a friend's daughter, he's ready for a home and family. All he needs is a bride...and Josie's sister is not the Wylie who has caught his eye. If only Josie would see the truth--that the only Christmas present he needs is her love.

Readers, buy your copy of The Christmas Journey today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Actually, the idea came from that great movie classic It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s always been one of my favorite holiday flicks and at one point I began toying with the idea of taking the story and twisting it slightly – change the George Bailey role to that of a woman and set it in the nineteenth century. Thus Josie Wiley was born – a woman who longs to see the world outside the confines of her small backwater town but is held prisoner there by her own sense of duty, responsibility and deep love for her family. And the perfect hero for her, of course, is a man who’s already seen all he cares to of the world ‘out there’ and wants nothing more than to find a place to settle down.

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

I think every writer puts a bit of herself in her stories, whether consciously or not. My stories, at their center, are all about searching for a place to belong, about craving a sense of family. That is a very core need of mine as well. But the particular circumstances my characters come from, the form those longings take, are uniquely theirs.

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

My heroine, Josie, would be Rocky Road – her life up to the point my story opens has been a very rocky road indeed.

My hero, Ry, would be Neapolitan – his life has been compartmentalized into distinct sections and he is trying to bridge the various pieces.

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

As I stated earlier, most of my stories are about trying to capture a sense of belonging and about discovering the true meaning of family. But in addition to that, this story has a layer in it of recognizing that sometimes the best answer to even the most heartfelt of prayers can be ‘No’.

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

The most difficult parts to write were the scenes with Ry and his siblings. I had a hard time really nailing down their relationships with each other. I hope I succeeded in the end.

My favorite parts were the early scenes where Ry and Josie were getting to know each other, feeling that tug of attraction, but realizing they have different goals and dreams for their futures.

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

The Heart’s Song comes out in June 2010 and it is my first foray into the world of contemporaries. It’s set in my home state of Louisiana in a fictional town located in the central part of the state where the Cajun culture and north Louisiana cultures sort of come together. The heroine is trying to start up a community handbell choir and enlists the reluctant help of her new neighbor, a former choir director who feels betrayed by God. Reeny and Graham’s story has been with me for quite sometime and I’m very excited to finally get it written.

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

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

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.


Michelle said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this giveaway!

The book sounds wonderful!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Cherie J said...

Great Spotlight! I love Christmas books and this one sounds so awesome. Would love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book! Please enter me. Thanks

Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks Tiff, for inviting me to be yur spotlight author. And it's fun reading the comments so far. Good luck to everyone in the drawing!

Jo said...

I just love reading Christmas stories. Thanks for bringing my attention to another new to me author. Would love to win this book.


Anonymous said...

Great post. I love Christmas books, I love the Christmas season period. Please enter me.Blessings.

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Christmas books are my absolute favorite! I love them all year 'round! Please enter me. :)

Thank you,
~ Lori


Anonymous said...

sounds like a wonderful book...please include me :)

karen k

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


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

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.