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Thursday, November 4, 2010

"A Christmas Gift" by author Diane Craver; review/interview/giveaway

I'd like to welcome Diane Craver to Janet's Treasures today! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit!

How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?

When our oldest daughter Sara was a toddler, I started writing nonfiction. I wrote a partial book, Born to Love about her. I never finished it because no book publisher was interested in the story, but I did get a few magazine articles out of it. One was in Virtue magazine, one in Down Syndrome Today, and a few other publications. My sweet mother bragged about the Virtue article to her friends and relatives. She told me that my article was better than Debby Boone’s in the same magazine. LOL In 2001, my first short book was published and later I switched to writing fiction. My first inspirational romance was published in 2006.

What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?

Even thought I’m published now, it’s been a long road to publication for my books. Getting published has never been easy. But I made it with self-discipline, faith in my writing, family support, and determination. If you are an aspiring writer wanting to get published, hang in there. You have to continue to write and to believe in yourself. Writing is not a career for the weak. You have to be persistent and develop a thick skin when it comes to rejections. Remember this is a subjective business so don’t get discouraged.

Where do you get ideas for stories?

I get my creative ideas sometimes from my own family and life. Other times something on TV or the newspaper might spark an idea for a story. Once I heard a TV reporter talk to a survivor after a plane crash, so that give me the idea to write Never the Same. It’s about two women’s priorities being changed after they survived a plane crash where many people died. A Christmas Gift is based on my childhood experiences, but the characters and story line are fictional.

Has anything surprised you about being an author?

I thought it would be easier than it is being a published author. Promoting takes a big chunk of time so that doesn’t always leave me enough time to devote just to writing.

Tell us how you come up with characters.

Well, A Christmas Gift was inspired by my parents and siblings. I had thought of writing a story about my father for a long time. His life was hard with his mother’s rejection and being raised by various relatives. Even though both his parents deserted him, he had a deep faith in God, and was able to be a good father to me and my siblings. A Fiery Secret is based loosely on my daughters, Christina and Amanda. Learning more about various careers gave me ideas for other characters. Also I like to write about family relationships, so that’s how I came up with the characters in Whitney in Charge. It’s a sweet contemporary romance about three sisters.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

While writing a new book, I try to write so many pages a day, but I’m afraid that I don’t always meet my personal writing goals. We were blessed with six children and two daughters with special needs. Once I have a publisher’s deadline for a particular book, I am very disciplined and focus hard on my writing. I always finish the final editing on time.

How long does it normally take you to write a book?

That’s hard to answer. I’m a slow writer and I don’t write daily. Although I consider my writing as a career, family and promoting my published books all take time away from writing. I also have a seasonal scoring job. I score the tests that students hate to take. LOL It probably takes me on the average seven to nine months to write a book from beginning to end. If I actually wrote daily, I’m sure it would take less time.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I’m usually sitting in a comfortable chair in the living room and writing on my laptop.

What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?

I enjoy reading inspirational romances. It can be either historical or contemporary Christian romances.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading In All Things written by Shawna Williams. I read her book, No Other and enjoyed it very much, so it’s fun to read more about her memorable characters, Meri and Jakob, in the sequel and their lives ten years later.

What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

I enjoy reading, watching movies, TV, college football,(big Ohio State fan), bicycling, swimming and spending time with my awesome husband and six children.

What is your favorite movie?

I watch a lot of movies but Ever After is one that I especially enjoyed. Drew Barrymore plays a strong heroine which I liked a lot. Even though the prince comes to rescue her, she’s already rescued herself. She has a cruel stepmother and stepsisters like the Cinderella fairy tale.

What 3 things would you rather not be without?

Well, of course, first my husband and children. Next, my laptop. And third, I’d definitely need my medication for my acid reflux condition.

If you had the time and the money, what would you like to do?

I’d love to go to Hawaii. My problem is that my husband has no desire to go there. I’d also like to travel out west.

How can readers and fans contact you?

My website is and my blog is And another spot is my Jewels of the Quill group: I’m also on Facebook and various yahoo groups.

I have lots of fun prizes listed on my blog. By leaving a comment here, you’ll be entered in my two drawings. More details on my blog.

Thank you so much, Janet, for having me on your wonderful blog. It’s been fun!

My Review of "A Christmas Gift":

The story starts out in the present day with Debra Reeves Cunningham telling her story of what happened back in 1957, at the age of 7. Debra saw something back then that she wasn’t meant to see. Her father had an overwhelming disability that he was trying so hard to overcome. He was a farmer and a good provider for his family.

Debra is the youngest of 4 children in her family. Her oldest sister, Gail, is 25 and still living at home. Her brother, Carl, 21, is in the Army. She shares a bedroom with her 14 year old sister, Kathy, who is crippled by polio. On this particular night in 1957, Debra wakes up needing to go to the bathroom. There is only one bathroom in their home, downstairs close to her parents bedroom. As she is sneaking to the bathroom, she sees something that she doesn’t understand. She returns to bed, pondering what she had seen.

I’m going to stop right here with describing the book…I don’t want to give anything away!

This is a short read but it is packed with a wonderful message! I LOVED this book! Diane did an awesome job of developing her characters. Her writing style pulls you in and puts you right there, in the Reeves house in 1957! You will be truly blessed by reading this book.

Diane has graciously offered to give a copy to one lucky winner! Please leave a comment here, with your email address, for a chance to win this awesome book! (no email, no chance to win!) Winner will be randomly chosen from all valid entries and announced on Wednesday, 11/10/10. Good luck and God bless!


  1. Good interview. Thanks for it.

  2. Janet,
    Thank you for your lovely words about my book. You made my day with your thoughtful review! Also I appreciate so much being interviewed by you.

  3. Wendy,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read the interview and to comment. Have a good day!

  4. I love the cover!

  5. I would love to read this book!


  6. What a great interview. Found it very interesting. Would love to read the book.


  7. I would love to read this book. It takes place in the yr I was a teen and I love to read about this time period. A Christmas Gift sounds like a great book. Beautiful cover. Thanks for stopping by today to chat with us Diane.

    Thanks for hosting Janet, and this opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  8. Hi Diane and Janet and thank you for this informative, fun interview. It was so nice to learn a little bit more about you, Diane. I can't wait to read this book, it sounds beautiful. Janet, your warm way made this chat a great treat, and your review is really well-done. Bless both of you!:-)

  9. Diane, this sounds like a wonderful story! I love college football too - huge OU Sooner fan :-).


  10. Diane, I love Christmas stories and this one sounds like a winner!

  11. I would absolutely LOVE to win this please!

    Thank you for the chance, Janet and many blessings!
    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

  12. Ann, Edwina, Jo, Miss Kallie, Gina, Anne, Shawna, and Molly:

    Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the wonderful comments. Have a nice evening!

  13. This book sounds really good. Would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. I discovered more about you, Diane! I didn't know you sold magazine articles. I don't blame your mother for bragging about you. :)

    Here's wishing you much success, my friend! :)

  15. I would love to read this book! I tried to buy it off Amazon but I could not find it.

    Kim Thorne

  16. Wow, thanks to all of you for coming to Janet's Treasures today! I wish we had a copy to give all of you one! This book is just so good, I know anyone who reads it will love it!
    @Kim...I sent you an email. The book comes out later this month. It should be at Amazon then, per Diane.
    God bless each one of you!!

  17. I really enjoyed reading about Diane Carver and her writing. This book sounds very interesting and I really love the cover. Please enter me in the drawing ... thanks!


  18. Patsy, Miss Mae, Kim and Jan Marie,
    I'm happy you visited Janet's awesome blog today. Thank you!

    My book releases Nov. 15 - sorry you couldn't order it today. I'll be sure to email you when it's available or you might even win a copy!

    Miss Mae,
    Yes, I've had a few magazine articles published - once I had an article in Woman's Weekly which you'd love - it was true about how I fell in the pool with my clothes on. I was trying to move the patio table farther away from the pool.

  19. Hi Diane,
    I like that you have something in the books that were inspired by your family, it's makes reading them more meaningful.

  20. I always love reading how an author comes about to becoming published, how long it took, and how they go about writing. The fact that you give yourself the liberty to not write everyday and realize it may take that much longer to finish is to be honest, refreshing. So many authors say they have a certain amount of pages or words to do everyday and yet there are times things just 'get in the way' and throws you off schedule. The main thing is you accomplish what you set out to do, even if it took a little longer!

    Loved the interview and would love to win your book for a chance to 'discover' another author!

  21. Thanks for the lovely interview, Diane and Janet! It's a treat to learn more about the author and inspirations behind the story! Looking forward to reading this Christmas story for myself :)

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  22. Please remember to leave your email address for a chance to win Diane's book!!!

  23. Dina,
    How have you been? So glad you visited here and on my blog. Thank you so much. Take care.

    Thank you - I love what you wrote. I'm like the turtle in a race - it takes me longer than some of these fast writers but I usually do finish the manuscript. LOL

    I'm so glad you stopped by and thank you for your lovely comments. Have a wonderful day!

  24. I can understand why she doesn't want to be without her acid reducing medicine, I have GERD too. I love stories with a Christmas theme so would love this book. Please enter me for this book.


  25.'s my email



  26. I do enjoy my Christmas stories so look forward to reading A Christmas Gift.

  27. This interview was amazing! Thank you for sharing it and the book sounds just as lovely. I would love to be considered entered into this drawing please.

    Thank you,

  28. a wonderful posting...thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  29. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
    Also wanted to say love your site. The colors and pictures are beautiful.
    Many blessings,
    Trinity Rose
    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

  30. I want to thank all of you on the comments on my website! I looked long and hard for something that would fit me, and this was it. If you haven't already, would you consider following my blog? Just click on the "Follow" button up on the top left hand side. Thanks a bunch!!

  31. So glad I stopped by today, I would have missed a chance at meeting a writer new to me. The cover of Diane's book is inviting. I would like to read this story and find out the secrets. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win Diane's fine book. I hope I do!

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  32. We have a winner for Diane's book!! And that winner is....................
    Molly Edwards! Congrats Molly! I'll be in touch shortly!


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