Book Review and Author Interview: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

5 Dec

072170_w185Reluctantly returning home for the holidays, Meg Campbell receives a frosty reception from her family and decides to leave for Edinburgh. Delayed by a snowstorm, she pours out her heart to a secretly hurting traveler named Gordon, who asks all the right questions. Can they find healing in each other—and perhaps something more?

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12930_higgs_liz_curtisLiz Curtis Higgs has been telling tales since she attempted her first novel – handwritten in a marble notebook – at the tender age of ten. Successful careers in broadcasting, public speaking, nonfiction writing, and children’s books honed Liz’s storytelling talents, bringing her back to her first love – writing fiction – at the turn of the 21st century.

A gifted speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs has presented more than 1,500 inspirational programs for audiences in all 50 United States as well as Germany, England, Canada, Ecuador, France, and Scotland. In 1995, Liz received the highest award in professional speaking, the “Council of Peers Award for Excellence,” becoming one of only forty women in the world named to the CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill share their 19th-century farmhouse in Kentucky with their two teenagers, Matt and Lilly, and too many cats. For more about Liz, visit her Web site: www.LizCurtisHiggs.com.

My Impressions:

Liz Curtis Higgs has spent a good amount of time in Scotland in her fiction. Now she brings us a Christmas novella set in the Victorian era in A Wreath of Snow. Meg Campbell has been home just for a few days and already she has had to flee her family home. The feelings of guilt and anger toward her brother Alan, who was injured as a child, have Meg escaping to the peace and security of her Edinburg home. But first she must make a train trip on a very snowy Christmas Eve. Gordon Shaw is on that train and recognizes Meg. In his reckless youth, he was the cause of her brother’s accident. Determined to make things right after years of shame, Gordon must first gain Meg’s forgiveness.

Liz Curtis Higgs has again captured the time and place of 1894 Scotland. Her meticulous research and her very talented pen transport the reader back in time. The scenes and scents, even the snow, come to life.  Higgs has long been a favorite of mine, and this novella just reinforces her status at the top of the list of must read authors. The themes of guilt and God’s and man’s forgiveness are beautifully depicted. And there is an ending twist that will catch the reader by surprise.

So settle in with a mug of tea or cocoa and be prepared to spend a few evenings in snowy Scotland. A Wreath of Snow is a delightful addition for the Christmas reading season.

Highly Recommended.

I had the very great pleasure to meet with Liz Curtis Higgs back in July at the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando. As always, Liz was a gracious interviewee. Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

Liz told me that A Wreath of Snow grew out of a book on 19th century railways she found. She chose the year 1894 specifically because it was one of the snowiest in history. Of course she has spent a lot of time in Scotland researching her other books and has fallen in love with the people and places. (She is currently hosting a tour of Scotland! Click HERE to see details of the trip.) Another project very dear to her heart was released in July 2012 — The Girl’s Still Got It – a Bible study of the book of Ruth.

564484_w185Liz spent 5 years from start to finish on this Bible study. She began the research in 2007 and then in 2008 started teaching the material in a Bible study. In 2009 she took it with her on the platform as a 3-4 part message in speaking engagements in New Zealand, South Africa and Scotland. Her deep focus on Ruth included 14 Bible translations. Her reliance on God’s leading is the most important thing. She prayed at every verse asking Lord? and then listened. In her pre-writing phase she goes through the verses many times. She thinks of stories to share, and then and only then, she turns to the commentaries, the most respected first. She takes copious notes and documents her work for thorough footnotes. After all her research and note taking, Liz goes back to the beginning and begins writing.

Liz is a wonderfully warm and welcoming woman. She has always made me feel so comfortable. And her stories and insights make you laugh and make you think! Thanks so much to Liz for meeting with me. I look forward to leading my own group in January into the time of Ruth and Boaz in The Girl’s Still Got It.

(I received copies of A Wreath of Snow and The Girl’s Still Got It from the publisher. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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One Response to “Book Review and Author Interview: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs”

  1. Sue Wendt December 6, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    I am a huge fan of Liz. I have a copy of The Girl’s Still Got It, but have not finished it. I’ve read all her fiction except this new novella and I believe I read all the previous nonfiction. Great lady!!

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