Friday, October 19, 2012

A Chat with Liz Curtis Higgs & A Wreath of Snow

A Wreath of Snow:
A Victorian Christmas Novella

Liz Curtis Higgs
ISBN: 978-1400072170
October 2012/226 pages/Hardcover/$14.99

Christmas Eve 1894

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

"A wonderful story of redemption and restoration that will warm your heart during the Christmas season—or any time of year!"
Francine Rivers, best-selling author of Redeeming Love


I adore Liz Curtis Higgs! She absolutely lights up a room when she walks in the door. It's always a delight to attend any event where she speaks or emcees, such as the Christy Awards. At ICRS this past July, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with her for half an hour and chat about her two new books. Here I share part of that interview as we talk about A Wreath of Snow. At the time we talked, I had only received an excerpt (the first chapter). She burst out laughing when I told her that to quote my sweets-loving dad when he only got a small piece of pie, the excerpt "was just enough to make me mad!" Her reply was "better mad than bored!" Here is our chat.

I can't wait to read the rest of this story! Tell me a little more about it, please.

A Wreath of Snow, set in Scotland in 1894. Why that year? Because it was a Christmas in that part of Scotland when they had tons of snow--70 days in a row below zero. Well, their zero; freezing for us! So they had lots of days below freezing and lots of snow. The other reason is a wreath in Scots means a snowdrift. A drift of snow plays a big part in the story. I won't tell you more than that. (She says with a mischievous grin!) It's not based on Biblical characters; it's a story God gave me. I love to write fiction because it's such an adventure! Some writers are real plotters. I'm not a plotter. I spend a whole lot of time in characterization, then throw them in the story and see what happens. So I'm following them around.

So you're one of those who hears the voices in her head and the characters do all sorts of things?!

Yes, that's me. There are different kinds of writers and I definitely lean toward that. Now I will do a plot just to prove to myself that there's a story there. But if you compare the finished product with what that plot was? Half the time the characters don't have the same names, they don't have the same back story, the ending is different. It doesn't matter! What matters is the story you end up with.

It comes out in October, a nice little hardcover Christmas novella. I'm excited! It's a Victorian, which is a new time period for me and which I loved. It just covers three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day. And it's set in Stirling, Scotland, which is about an hour by train out of Edinburgh or Glasgow, either way. It's sort of the top point of a triangle between those two cities. It's right at the foot of the Highlands, when you look out from Stirling Castle there in the Highlands.

How much time do you spend in Scotland?

I've been there fifteen times! It's insane. I usually go for a couple of weeks at a time. I just went for a month during April and May. I'm leading a Victorian Christmas tour of Scotland--oh, I'm so excited! Actually, I'm taking two groups back to back this December. The first one sold out in six days so we added another one!
What's on your agenda after this? Are you working on more books?

Always, Linda! I've always got stuff going on! I've got contracts with WaterBrook, whom I adore, for two more non-fiction and two more fiction. I'm not sure which order they'll be in.


In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books and videos, Liz Curtis Higgs breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous--and intriguing--women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew. Now, with The Girl's Still Got It, Liz offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey.

Liz's award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, also invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light. According to Publishers Weekly, "Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity." To that end, Liz has traveled sixteen times to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with nearly one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.

Also a gifted professional speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,600 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries. When the National Speakers Association honored her with the Council of Peers Award for Excellence, Liz became one of only 32 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved) parents of two college grads. Visit Liz's Web site:


This book will warm your heart and your spirit! I ached for both Meg and Gordon as they dealt with the fall-out of that tragic day when their lives intersected more than a decade ago. This charming yet heart-wrenching story juxtaposes the contrast between a life consumed by bitterness and the one set free by God's redemption. What better time than the Christmas season to be reminded of the wondrous gift of forgiveness?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received and advance PDF copy of this book free from WaterBrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Cathy said...

I love stories that take placed in the Christmas season and I love Liz Curtis Higgs. Sounds like one I definitely need to check out.

Diana Ferguson said...

This sounds like a great story!