Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Carving Angels Blog Tour + Giveaway


***UPDATE***
WINNER:  Diane Estrella!!

~~~~~~~

Carving Angels Blog Tour



Goodreads Blurb:
Papa Adam, the North Pole's oldest elf and Santa's former chief carver, has given up. Blind, frail, and feeling useless, he counts the minutes in every day as he waits to die -- until his youngest granddaughter challenges him to carve again. Together they prove that the most beautiful creations can come from the most unlikely sources and with the right love and encouragement, anything is possible. 


Guest Post: The Story Behind the Story
Carving Angels - Behind the Wood Shavings


I love a background story.
Just as I love the secondary characters in a movie.
Each adds . . . substance.
And, let's face it, the lead story and the lead characters have all been done to death. The world is looking for something fresh and new.
But who says that fresh and new can't be siphoned off of the old and overdone?
Carving Angels came from just such an idea.
I was looking at a picture of Santa Claus, riding in his famous sleigh.
Pulled by his equally famous reindeer.
And the thought struck me - 'Huh. I wonder where he got his sleigh?' It is such an integral part of the whole 'Santa' story, but no one has ever explained where it came from.
Did he mail order it?
The number of stamps alone would be mind-boggling.
Visit 'Sleighs R Us' on one of his weekend getaways to New York or places south?
Possible, but doubtful. For one thing, I've never seen a 'Sleighs R Us' store.
Even in Edmonton.
I sincerely doubt that one could find a Sears or Costco at the North Pole.
The only other solutions seemed to be either union-made (elves), or non-union 'constructed in someone's shop' (also elves).
Bingo.
I had my premise.

Santa's sleigh was constructed by elves.
Or more particularly, by an elf.
A very gifted elf.
But what kind of gifts?
A metal worker/welder?
I'm sure they have them in abundance at the North Pole. After all, who else could construct the plethora of things metal that appear under our tree on Christmas morning?
Okay, that's one possibility.
Computer whiz.
Handy, especially when it came to interior bells and whistles.
But, let's face it, a virtual sleigh, though it might look good on the silver screen, really couldn't pass muster when it came to actually carrying the big guy and serving as a repository for the all-important toys and gifts.
Computer whizzes - out.
Wait. What about a wood carver?
We're talking about a night spent in an open sleigh in sub-zero temperatures.
Okay, yes, I know that many of Santa's deliveries are to tropical and sub-tropical locales, but we should plan for the frozen-est, rather than the warm-est, right?
Moving on . . .
Hmm. Wood vs. metal.
Wood is so much warmer than metal.
Anyone who has done the all important/stupid frozen metal-tongue test (and I'm not saying I have) knows that wood, even when frozen solid, simply does not have the sticking power of super-cooled metal.
A definite plus for the wood argument.
Let's go with that.
So. A wood-carving elf.

Now, how can we make him (or her) special.
And at the same time make his (all right, I've decided he's a guy) accomplishment just a bit . . . tougher. Harder to imagine.
Or believe.
We'll give him a handicap.
Something to overcome.
Something that will make his achievement that much more astounding.
Age?
Good.
Infirmity?
Better.
Blind?
Perfect.
And we'll drag in his tiny little granddaughter because she is so sweet and cute and because she is equally handicapped by age.
And because we need someone to help on the rare occasions when our carver actually needs to 'see'.
So now, all we need is a bit of background: A former career as Santa's chief carver, followed by ten years of despair.

And the story is set.
Carving Angels is born.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Just in time for the Christmas season, Diane Tolley's lovely and deeply touching Carving Angels was released by Cedar Fort Publishing. I loved this story. The bond between Amy and her grandfather is wonderful, and the fact that he is one of Santa's elves doesn't hurt either. 

I recommend reading this one together as a family. It's full of love, hope, friendship, determination, and the joy of Christmas. I felt the emotional tug on my heart from the very first chapter. This is an absolutely beautiful Christmas story.

Cedar Fort has generously offered to give away one copy of Carving Angels. Their giveaway policy is that giveaways are open to International entries, and if someone outside North America wins, they'll send them an ebook, inside North America they'll send them a hard copy, unless the winner would prefer an ebook. 

Just leave a comment and be a follower to enter. Winner announced on Friday.

Does your family have an annual must-read Christmas story?

13 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh it sounds so sweet.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a fun read. Sorry not to have a suggestion. It's been quite awhile since my teenage daughter and I read together. Now we share recommendations about YA books.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That does sound sweet. Is it middle grade?

We don't have a Christmas story tradition. I tried to start one, but the kids just never got into the book. I loved it though. Each chapter was a different day, and they counted down the days till Christmas, and showed the various celebrations for each country along the way.

Susan R. Mills said...

Sounds like it would make a great gift, too.

Old Kitty said...

Love the backstory thinking!! Thank you Shannon and Diane! This story sounds just right for christmas! Magical! Take care
x

Heather said...

I love finding out the story behind that story, that's awesome! And this sounds like the perfect holiday read. Thanks for featuring it!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss shannon and miss diane! wow i love that back story stuff. its like watching someone get all the parts together and build something way cool. i hope i could win that neat book. for us we dont have a book we read any more at christmas time.
...hugs from lenny

Deranged Pegasus said...

That sounds so adorable and lovely.

Lenasledgeblog.com said...

Sounds really interesting. It has a homestyle feel to it by the cover.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Shannon, I collect Christmas books, especially picture books. I need to buy a bin today so that I can put them out and my kids and piano students can enjoy them during December.

C D Meetens said...

That sounds such a heart-warming book, and I love the idea of the secondary characters being given centre stage.

Diane said...

It does sound like a total tear jerker. My kids would watch me crying the whole way through! :O)

Diane said...

Thank you so much, Shannon! This is wonderful!

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