Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On The Second Day of Christmas....

...Books and Barks is featuring Stephanie Rowe!  Stephanie was kind enough to answer a few holiday questions for us and will even be giving away one copy of one of her books of your choosing!  

Stephanie would like everyone to check out her new non-fiction book, The Feel Good Life.  In it she writes inspirational short essays to help people who need a little motivation to keep going during the rough times in life.  She tells about her struggles while trying to make it in the crazy world of writing novels, and how even if it would have been easier to give up at times she stuck with her dream.  I've read this book, and I think it would be a great read for everyone to check out.

In order to win any book of Stephanie's, answer this question in the comments:  If you could give any advice to someone to help motivate them through tough times, what would it be?  Or, do you have your own motivational story that you'd like to share?  Make sure to leave an email address that I can contact you at if you win!  Standard rules apply (you can view them HERE) and you have until December 30th to enter.  

You can visit her Goodreads page or her website to see some of her books available.

Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider? 
Oh, that’s a tough one. One of my most favorite drinks is the caramel hot apple cider from Starbucks. There’s not much better than that. 
Favorite holiday story? 
The Littlest Christmas Tree by R.A. Herman. It’s such a beautiful story of believing in your dreams. It makes me cry every time I read it (happy tears). 
Favorite holiday movie? 
Frosty the Snowman. I know, it’s a TV show, but it’s still my favorite!
Best gift received for the holidays? 
Honestly, it’s seeing my daughter’s face light up when she runs into the living room and sees the Christmas tree and all the presents. 
Favorite holiday song? 
I have lots of favorite songs that I love because they are beautiful, and there are really too many to mention. So, intead, I’ll share the holiday song that’s my favorite because it’s so funny: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. 

What book are you reading now? Are there any new authors that have caught your attention lately?
The book I just got out of the library is a middle grade fantasy called The Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch. I read the first book in that series a year ago and loved it, so I’m excited to read this one. 

What inspired you to write your first book?
I have always had a tremendous love of reading. When I was a kid, I used to read 20 books a week during the summers, and my love never faded. When I hit my 30s, I was looking at my day job, and I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I went on a quest to find my true life path, and I found writing. I feel so fortunate to have found it. I love what I do. 

What do you enjoy doing that isn’t writing related?
Well, I love being a mom and spending time with my amazing daughter. Other than that, my next thing is to play tennis. I have some of the best tennis friends in the world, and I cherish the time I spend with them! Plus, as an added bonus, I get exercise while I’m socializing with them. 

Any new projects you’d like to tell your readers about?
Actually, yes. I have a new book coming out on December 14 called THE FEEL GOOD LIFE. It’s a non-fiction book that evolved from my personal journey over the last four years to get my life back together after it imploded. The book acknowledges that life is hard, that tough things happen that we can’t always fix, but we deserve to still be able to wake up in the morning and not feel a huge weight in our chests. The book is filled with the things I did to help myself pull myself together and start to shift how I felt, to feel better, to be able to look around and realize that everything was going to be okay, in some way or another. Honestly, it totally sucks to feel awful, and if I can help one person get through a day more easily, then that’s a gift I will cherish. This book is the kind of book I want people to give to the people in their lives who are struggling through something tough, because we all deserve to feel better, no matter how much the world is crashing down around us. If my journey can help others, then it’s worth everything I went through. 

Real or artificial tree?  And how do you decorate it?  Any special ornaments?
I have a real tree, though I am becoming increasingly tempted for artificial ones. I love the smell of pine, but the pineneedles galore are a bit of a challenge! My ornaments range from ones that were on my tree growing up, that are faded and stained and bent (and beautiful in their age!), to new ones that my daughter and I bought last week, and everything in between. We have some shiny balls, some ceramic animals, some cloth things, and even some fabric butterflies from Turkey that adorned my grandparent’s Christmas tree for years and years 

What dish has to be on your holiday table every year?  Any favorite recipes?
Dutch apple pie, my great grandmother’s secret recipe. That pie must be on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas, no matter what. If it’s not there, then the holiday is not complete! My mom passed the recipe onto me, and we take turns making it. 

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Honestly, the individual presents I’ve received over the years sort of blur and fade. What sticks with me are memories of being together with the people I love, and celebrating all that comes with family (the good, the bad, and the crazy)! I love the music, I love driving around at night and looking at Christmas lights. I love smelling fresh pine. I love wearing my snow man socks. I love the holiday spirit. 

PS - Don't forget to check out Pawing Through Books & Alaskan Book Cafe to see what authors they are featuring today!  Also, check out the main post HERE for links to the grand prize giveaways!


  1. Thanks for having me! I'm so excited to be here! Plus, I have good news! My website designer hasn't put my two newest books up on my website, but the winner can still pick one of those. Those two books are THE FEEL GOOD LIFE and my new middle grade fantasy, PENELOPE MOONSWOGGLE, THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT RIDE A DRAGON.

  2. The best advice I can give someone going through a tough time is to stay strong,lean on loved ones, & just breath. Tough situations just make us stronger in the long run! ashcuesta@gmail.com

  3. Great interview. Wonder if you have tried Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate? Yum!

    Hhmmm - advice. What I've told myself over and over (too many times to count) is that everything happens for a reason. I may not see it right away but there is always a reason. Not to be afraid but look forward to what may happen as a result. ~ bookbunny68 @yahoo dot com

  4. That's great advice, Ashley. Loved ones can really help. And honestly, so can slowing down and making sure to breathe.

    Oh, bookbunny68, that hot chocolate sounds good.... I will have to try it. And that is true about things happening for a reason. So often, we end up in a better place on the other side, even if we can't see to the other side.

  5. This past year has been incredibly stressful for me, and the one thing I found helped the most was to always try to remember the positive things in life. Sounds cheesy but counting my blessings really helps. When going through rough patches in life it is so easy to focus only on the negative, which really doesn't help anything. Oh, and chocolate and a bubble bath help too :)

  6. I totally agree, fairytale78. Counting blessings makes a tremendous difference. Good for you for remembering to do it. It's not always easy to do.

  7. Probably the best advice I could give is to take things one step at a time. Sometimes the BIG picture can be daunting, so think in managable bites.



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