Guest post~ Author Shelley Shepard Gray + Contest!

A Christmas for Katie: A Christmas Families of Honor Novella  by Shelley Shepard Gray I love Christmas. I love Christmas songs and cookies and giving gifts… I don’t like the stress I always seem to feel as I scurry about trying to get exactly the gift I have in mind for someone and I’ve waited till the last minute to do/make/find it! *head/desk* every year I seem to do that to myself 😛

I enjoy holiday novellas because I can curl up for an hour or two and enjoy a little bit of peace falling into a story and not have the added stress of wanting to stay up way too late because it’s a novella and I can finish it before bed! Sooo I’m always on the lookout for cute short stories and this one got my attention.

Shelley has written a fun post about Thanksgiving for us here at The Book Tart and there’s a contest at the bottom of this post for her book tour! 😉

(((hugs))) Kat

The Queen of Tart


♥ Author Guest Post ♥          


This week, while I’ve been buying turkeys, shopping for cranberries, comparing recipes, and coordinating my kids’ travel plans, I’ve also been giving thanks.

I love the Thanksgiving holiday. Actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. It’s nice to look forward to a day where there are no expectations for gifts or special events. All my family looks forward to is the same meal we’ve had for twenty years, time for naps, and football games.

Of course I’m thankful for family and friends. My pets and my faith and my health. Instead, I thought I’d concentrate on a few little things that I probably take for granted too often but make my life so much sweeter.

  • I’m thankful for friendly people. I like being able to go to the coffee shop and chat with the barista, or discuss leeks in the grocery store line, or compare new sweaters with the receptionist at the dry cleaners. Those little snippets of conversation make the rest of my day happier.
  • I’m thankful for our USA Today newspaper that arrives every morning at the foot of our driveway. I’ve gotten this paper ever since I’ve been in college, and I really do enjoy seeing the news in all the different states I’ve lived in. Oh! And I’m really thankful when my husband goes out in the cold or rain and brings it in for me.
  • I’m thankful for my Kindle. I never thought I’d be the type of person to read an e-book. It turns out that I am. I really am thankful for being able to order a book immediately.
  • I’m thankful for hot bubble baths, and that my husband has always made sure that I have time (and hot water) for one. When our kids were little, he’d watch cartoons with them while ‘Mom had her bath’. Now when they come home from college, he won’t let anyone take a shower at night until I’ve had my bath. It’s a silly thing, but always appreciated by me.
  •  I’m thankful for all the china that my parents gave to me before they passed away. I use it all the time, and I love the memories those plates and cups and saucers give to me.


Finally, I’m thankful for my publisher, and all the folks at the Avon and Harper Collins offices. They’ve helped me become a better writer, and have supported me in countless ways~the latest which is my little Christmas Novella, A Christmas for Katie. This fall, they took a little dream of mine and made it into a darling book. I’m thankful it got published, and I’m thankful to get to share it with others.


This Thanksgiving, I hope you have lots of turkey and stuffing, pie and green bean casserole! I hope you have stacks of dirty dishes and people around to help you wash them all. I hope you have pets barking and pretty much getting in the way, and relatives who talk too much and laugh too loud. I hope it’s everything wonderful…and the opposite of being alone.


Most of all, I hope you have time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life, whether they are very, very big, or so small you usually forget about them. I wish you my best and my thanks.


Meet Shelley

I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after  living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about  ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never  was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was  anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve  certainly read far better authors.

Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost  twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really  should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great  housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever  won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how  to be.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge  and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.

I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed  to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in  extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly  gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that  makes me feel very special indeed.


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A Christmas for Katie: A Christmas Families of Honor Novella  by Shelley Shepard GrayA Christmas for Katie: A Christmas Families of Honor Novella

ebook Release Date:  Nov. 20, 2012
Mass Market Release date: Nov. 27, 2012
Publisher: Avon Inspire
ISBN: 0062242563 | ISBN-13: 9780062242563 |
Will a little Amish girl make a Christmas miracle?   It isn’t easy to be Katie Weaver. Her sister-in-law Ella is about to have a baby, making Katie an aunt for the second time . . . and she’s only six and a half! Plus, her favorite librarian, Miss Donovan, seems sad. She won’t even fix up the rundown nativity in front of the library in time for Christmas. Then, an old woman is attacked outside the library, and, one by one, the nativity figures start to disappear!   Luckily, there’s a new deputy in town, Connor Fields.   He takes a real liking to Miss Donovan . . . and he promises to find the missing nativity pieces for Katie.   Now, all Katie has to do is pray that Ella’s delivery goes well and that some kind of nativity is in place for Christmas Eve. Oh, and that Miss D. falls in love with Connor. Katie knows from watching her three brothers that it makes people real happy. And that would be a Christmas miracle indeed!
Buy this mass market paperback from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Chapters | IndieBound
Buy this ebook from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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17 Replies to “Guest post~ Author Shelley Shepard Gray + Contest!”

    1. Hi Jackie!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m delighted to spotlight A Christmas for Katie 😉
      Good luck on the contest!
      (((hugs))) Kat
      The Queen of Tarts

  1. Hello Shelly
    now that you have grown up we find what you at good at “writing stories”, indeed some pretty good ones that make us readers have some joyful moments in our busy lives…
    Love the Christmas books and really enjoy them any time during the year too, love Snow and all the holiday cheer.
    Paula O

    1. Hi Paula,
      Thank you for stopping by! I’m delighted to host Shelley and I am looking forward to a quiet moment to read this too.
      The Queen of Tart

  2. Great guest post! We do take so many things for granted on a daily basis and it’s good to just stop and think about what we already have. It was great to get together with family yesterday and worth all of the extra cooking and cleanup:) Thanks for the giveaway

  3. I love Shelley’s novels. They are always so heartwarming and comforting. I’m looking forward to reading “A Christmas for Katie.”

    Thanks for sharing the synopsis.

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