5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Saturday, November 10, 2012

In The Middle of K-Mart

I love the holiday season. Always have. I guess it’s the magical contrast of anticipation and surprise that’s as much a part of the season as mistletoe and fa-la-la-la-la’s that gets me every time.
Elizabeth Lynn Casey
 You can pull out the same decorations year after year, but they’re always displayed just a little bit differently. You can imagine which gift will bring the most oohs and ahhs only to find out the unexpected item you purchased in a nostalgic moment is the one that brings the most joy. And you can go to bed on Christmas Eve knowing what’s inside each wrapped box and still find yourself waking up well before morning, waiting for the unwrapping to start.

 *Insert happy contented sigh, here*

This year, the fun starts even earlier thanks to Tuesday’s release of LET IT SEW—the 7th book (and first holiday title) in my Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series. Like my favorite part of the holiday season, LET IT SEW has embodied the anticipation/surprise experience I adore with everything from the unveiling of its cover (which is my absolute favorite of the series, thus far) to the creation of its plot (which has the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle face-to-face with a real live Grinch and a years-old crime to solve). Then of course there’s the anticipation that comes along with waiting for that first letter from a reader…

See? It’s all there—the anticipation, the surprise, and the magical holiday backdrop that makes this time of year my all-time favorite. But perhaps the best part of all is the fact that LET IT SEW actually has a story behind the story. A story that started nearly two years ago, just days before Christmas 2010, to be exact...

On that particular day in question, I posted a status update on my Elizabeth Lynn Casey fan page on Facebook that read: I wonder what the ladies of Sweet Briar are doing this holiday season. It was a simple sentence, written, really, as a way to connect with my readers with a nod to the fast-approaching holiday.

An hour—maybe two—later, I was standing in the stocking-stuffer section of K-Mart when my cell phone rang and the display screen showed the name of my agent. Assuming it was a “Merry Christmas” call, I picked up with nary a thought elsewhere.

The first words out of her mouth? “We’ve got a deal.”

I think I put the chocolate Santa down in my cart but I’m not entirely sure. Because, at that moment, I was virtually certain she’d dialed my number in error. “Deal? What deal?” I said. “We don’t have anything out there right now.”

“Well, your editor read your status update this morning and she thinks your readers need to find out what the ladies of Sweet Briar are doing for the holidays.”

Indeed, they do.

And so there you have it. The story behind LET IT SEW’s birth…

A birth I celebrated by adding an extra chocolate Santa to my shopping cart. For me.
Elizabeth Lynn Casey writes the Amish Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime under her real name of Laura Bradford. You can learn more about Elizabeth/Laura at


Judith Ashley said...


Welcome to Romancing The Genres.

I love this story! I'll never look at K-Mart in the same way again.

Did you find coming up with the rest of the book was fairly easy? I was wondering how writing a series affected your putting the whole story together.

Judith Ashley said...

Oh, and I forgot to congratulate you on having enough brain cells working to grab that extra chocolate Santa. I think mine would be dancing around which would have me spacing off...but then, you did say 'chocolate Santa' so maybe that's the secret.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Great blog. What a terrific Christmas present for you to receive at K-Mart of all places.

Best wishes


Elizabeth Lynn Casey said...

Judith, when it came time to write the book it all just fell into place. With this being the 7th book in the series, these characters are real people to me. I know how they think, what gets them worked up, etc. And when I sat down to give them a "holiday" it just fell together. Love it when that happens...

Margaret, I have a fondness for a particular aisle in my K-mart now. :)

Lynn Cahoon said...

I love this story. It's like Let it Sew was meant to be. All the stars lined up and made it happen.

Congrats. Look forward to reading.

Elizabeth Lynn Casey said...

Thanks Lynn!! I hope you enjoy it!