Hello! It is my great privilege to welcome a fellow author to my blog today! Author Lucie Ulrich is here to talk about her new release, The Starlight Inn. I know, some of you are not ready for Christmas yet, but some of us are. If I could, I’d be listening to Christmas music from September on, but my husband keeps that in check. And I do intend to write a Christmas novel or novella one day. But Christmas books are already hitting the shelves, so let’s take a moment to talk with an author who really knows…
Welcome, Lucie! First, can you tell us a little about your novel.
It’s a contemporary romance that involves Christmas, a major snowstorm, mistletoe, a handsome innkeeper, a bit of family drama, and a little old lady by the name of Tillie who seems to always knows more than she should.
Those little old ladies! They always do seem to know more than they should… What was the inspiration for The Starlight Inn?
Christmas and my love for travel. My husband and I fell in love with Vermont about a dozen years ago. We stumbled on the charming town of Woodstock, and I could only imagine how magical it would be during the holidays. For years I’ve wanted to write a Christmas story, but there was always something else I needed to work on. This year I determined to make it happen.
Truly it is one of my goals (to write a Christmas story). But, like you, I am always on other projects. Who knew we’d get so caught up in other things? Glad you were able to make it happen. Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
Not at all. I wanted to be a pediatric nurse when I was young, but my older sister told me I’d be required to get all kinds of shots since I was around babies. That dream died a sudden death. Lol! As I got older, I decided I wanted to follow my father into the airline industry. I loved that job, and worked for 7 years until I gave birth to my first child. I became a stay-at-home mother for the next eighteen years.
That’s kind of where I am right now. And I love caring for my youngsters and learning all about this writing thing. But I have come to understand that there are parts of the process I love and parts I don’t love so much. What part of the writing process do you dread?
Promoting! I love the creativity of writing and developing characters. Editing can be tough, but the promotion aspect of this business is something I struggle with.
I will say “amen” to that! I just want to write the next book. But we have to keep an eye on promoting the last one. When you are writing, what kind of music, if any, do you listen to?
I don’t play music when I write. I do, however, have the TV on. Sometimes it’s muted and other times it’s not. All depends on my mood.
Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
I have a room set up just for me. I had a desk at one time, but found that I spent most of my time sitting on the couch. I use a laptop, and I’m most comfortable that way. I can write whenever, but tend to be most productive in the mornings.
I am still finding my groove I think. Every season produces a “new normal” for me. Every book even… How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the book—anywhere between six months and two years.
Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?
I just submitted a sequel to my book “The Rose Ring.” I hadn’t intended there to be a second book, but my readers asked for one. I honesty, I left the ending open to the possibility, though it was done unintentionally. In the end, I’m glad I wrote it. Now to hope it’s accepted. I’m also working on a sequel to Starlight Inn. I want to bring Tillie into other stories that take place in inns around the country.
Thanks so much for being here and talking with me. And, without further ado, let’s hear more about Lucie’s book!
The Starlight Inn
On her way to celebrate her birthday and Christmas with her family, Ella Dixon finds herself trapped in the middle of a blizzard. She seeks refuge at The Starlight Inn. Though the inn is full, an elderly guest offers to share her room. Accepting the kind offer, Ella soon realizes Tillie Spencer isn’t your average “little old lady.” She knows things nobody else does, and appears to come and go on a whim.
Nick Wallace runs the inn along with sister, Fran. The attraction Nick feels for Ella is instantaneous and unexpected, but with the miles that separate them, and both busy with their careers, Nick doubts much will come of their Christmas Eve meeting. Tillie, on the other hand, holds a much different view.
Though Tillie won’t admit to being an angel, Nick and Ella think otherwise. How else can they explain the twists and turns that started at The Starlight Inn.
Enjoy an Excerpt
Not wanting to interrupt her call, or worse, eavesdrop any further, Nick backed away from the door and waited for her to finish. The inflection and hurt in her voice filtered into the hall. From the bit of information he’d gathered, she was a Christmas baby.
He jumped when the door slammed with a bang. Now he didn’t know whether to knock again or come back later.
With all he had to attend to, there really wasn’t much of an option. He knocked and waited. Ella opened the door with a smile, though it didn’t come close to reaching her eyes. He smiled back. “I brought your things.”
“Thanks.” She reached for the handle and her hand brushed against his, sending a surge of electricity up his arm. Their eyes locked momentarily, but she didn’t hold the gaze. “What time is dinner?”
“Yes, please. The establishment frowns upon guests who dine without their clothes on.”
Ella looked up, a spark lighting her eyes, and a slip of a smile lifted the corner of her mouth. “Good to know. Allow me to rephrase. Should my attire be casual or dressy?”
“We don’t hold to a dress code, but most of our guests tend to range between formal and semi-formal.” He chuckled. “I gotta tell you, though, Tillie sets the bar pretty high. I can hardly wait to see what she wears this year.” He handed over the garment bag. “As for you, I’m guessing there’s some sort of party dress in there?”
Ella chewed the corner of her lip. “Let me guess. You overheard my conversation.”
“Just a small part. The door was ajar, and . . . ” He shrugged.
“It’s okay. I don’t blame Eva for being upset. This birthday was really important to her. If I hadn’t taken on so much work, I’d be in New York instead of here.”
“Wait. Your sister’s name is Eva, as in Eve, and yours is Noella, as in Christmas?”
“That’s what happens when your twin is born on Christmas Eve, you on Christmas Day, and your parents obviously have no imagination.” Ella hung the garment bag in the ornate armoire.
“I’m glad to learn I’m not the only one.”
Ella pulled her brows together in a frown. “Care to explain?”
“Believe it or not, I was born on Christmas day too, and my folks couldn’t think of anything more original than Nicholas.”
“As in Saint Nicholas?” She chuckled. “I hope I’m more creative, if and when the time ever comes for me to marry and have kids.”
Warmth filled Nick’s chest. She had just answered one of the many questions he had about her.
More About the Author
Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Whether funny or serious, her books are filled with stories of faith, family, and forgiveness.
A former drama teacher and performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her other half explore the four corners of The United States.
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