Coffee Break: Happy Holidays 2016!

Happy holidays and welcome back! I’m wrapping up 2016 and the monthly author spotlight “Coffee Break With…” by inviting authors who had a spotlight earlier this year to return for a little holiday cheer and share what’s on the horizon for 2017.

I’m delighted to welcome back Margaret Locke, whose third book A Scandalous Matter, hit the shelves in July, and Josh Funk, who released Dear Dragon in September.

THE Margaret Locke!

THE Margaret Locke!

josh-funk-hsMargaret Locke joined me for the first ever Coffee Break back in May to celebrate the one-year anniversary of A Man of Character and discussed A Matter of Timeher February 2016 release.

Josh Funk is returning this month after a Coffee Break in November about dinosaurs, his August release Pirasaurs, and writing for the picture book market.

Welcome back! Let’s get start with the beverage of choice, of course! Are you a sesonal coffee/tea drink-lover? What’s your coffee/tea preference this time of year?

Margaret Locke: Nope to both. But I DO love hot chocolate and am ecstatic it’s finally the season for that again. No marshmallows, though: they just take away from the chocolaty yumminess!

Josh Funk: I think I’d have to go with a peppermint mocha flavored coffee during the holiday season.

Well, I have myself a large cup of Starbucks Christmas Blend (I wait ALL YEAR for this stuff to come back out! Holy delicious in a cup!)

On with the Coffee Break! What’s the craziest / funniest / most unique, but beloved, winter holiday tradition in your household?

ML: For many years, my family had a tradition of ordering pizza on Christmas Eve. We ordered the ‘za, snarfed it down when it came, and then opened one small gift each. Imagine my surprise when, upon moving to Virginia, we learned pizza places here close early on Christmas Eve! Alas, no more delivery. So now I usually make homemade pizza for the evening. Not quite the same (especially since it involves work on my part), but traditions must be carried on, right?

Right! We’re a Christmas-day Chinese food family (it almost seems expected in most of Jewish families I know!). I had similar culture shock in moving to rural Virginia and discovering not only is there no Chinese delivery in my town (at all!), but few places are open Christmas Day. I found one with their “Open Christmas Day!” sign up, so we’ll be heading there this year!!

Josh, how about you? What’s your craziest / funniest / most unique, but beloved, winter holiday tradition?

JF: Late one evening several years ago (I really don’t remember how many now), I was wrapping presents in the laundry room in the basement. I didn’t want to leave the presents on the floor of the unfinished basement (which was covered in dust, lint, cat hair, and other unidentifiable things. I spied an ironing board leaning against the wall (we had an ironing board? when was the last time anyone ironed anything?) and proceeded open it up and stack the presents on it.

At some point between that night and ‘Present Day’ (the day we give presents, not the phrase meaning nowadays), the kids noticed the pile (I’m not sure what they were doing in the laundry room. it certainly wasn’t to do laundry. maybe they needed to iron something) and coyly asked what it was. I lied and told them it was the Winter Solstice Ironing Board and then thought nothing of it…
Until the following December when the kids asked me when I was going to take out the Winter Solstice Ironing Board again. And so, the tradition began. We have since moved to a new home with a smaller (but less dusty and linty) laundry room. So the Winter Solstice Ironing Board now spends the month of December in our living room, slowly piling up with presents (while my December shirts slowly get more and more wrinkled).

LOL! That’s a great one!

Now, how about sharing what’s on the horizon for you (and your readership!) in 2017?

ML: I’m hoping to release two books in 2017. The first is The Demon Duke, which will launch my new Regency series, Put Up Your Dukes. Unlike my first three novels, this one contains no magical elements. None beyond the sparks that fly between a duke with a dark secret and the bookish young lady who might just save him from himself, that is.

And, if I can manage it, I’d like to shape up A Delicate Matter and get it out to you. A Delicate Matter takes a surprise character from A Scandalous Matter and gives her a story all her own. I wrote a draft during National Novel Writing Month in November, but, well, it’s definitely living up to the first draft reputation of being pretty much a super mess. So it might take me into 2018. 😉

Oh! Yay! *claps excitedly* A Scandalous Matter is in the cue for me, and I’m excited to read and review it! It’s always exciting to know there’s a follow up in the pipeline!

Josh, we’re picking up Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast for a holiday gift! Remind me about the sequel?

JF: In May 2017, the sequel to my debut Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast is coming out: The Case of the Stinky Stench. So clean out your fridges!

Later in the year, September 19th, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk hits shelves. This book is a bit meta, where Jack doesn’t want to listen to the narrator. “I don’t want to climb the beanstalk! There’s probably a giant up there!” This one will be a fun read aloud, especially for readers theater.

Excellent! Books for me, books for the kids, and I’m re-stocked on my favorite coffee! This has been a GREAT year of reading and coffee in our household. We’re looking forward to some exciting releases from you both in 2017! Thanks for returning for this special Coffee Break: Happy Holidays 2016 with The Mom Who Runs! Happy holidays and a wonderful New Year to you and yours.


How about you, readers? What’s your favorite / craziest / most-beloved holiday tradition?

What books have you excited for 2017? I’m filling my to-read shelves and would love to hear what’s lined up on yours!

Thank you for joining me this year! It’s been a delight to have such wonderful adventurers join me on the blogging trails! I hope you have enjoyed the “Coffee Break with…” author spotlights! They return in January with a host of new authors!

2 thoughts on “Coffee Break: Happy Holidays 2016!

  1. Love! I had to read the story of Josh’s Solstice Ironing board 🙂 We are also a Chinese food on Christmas family. Very lucky that our local restaurant stays open bc they do a thriving business that day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, janflora! Thanks for reading and your comment! I loved the Solstice Ironing board! That cracked me up when he told me about it. 🙂 I hope you enjoy your Chinese food dinner on Christmas, too!
      Happy trails!


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