Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

The 12 Authors of Christmas – Susan May Warren

Captain's Log, Supplemental

Continuing the 12 Authors of Christmas, here’s author Susan May Warren!

View the tour, including Rachel Hauck and Tricia Goyer’s authors, here.

About Susan:

Susan May Warren is the best-selling author of more than 20 novels and novellas with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A three time Christy award finalist, and three time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice contest, Susan currently has over 500,000 books in print. A seasoned women’s events speaker and writing teacher, she’s taught at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference for the past three years, and she runs a fiction editing service ( training writers how to tell a great story. After serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries in Khabarovsk, Far East Russia she now writes full-time while her husband runs a hotel on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. Her most recent book is Chill Out, Josey! The hilarious adventures of a Minnesota girl who finds herself newly married, and pregnant…in Russia! (not autobiographical, or anything…) For more information, go to

Tell us about your first Christmas memory.

I was about six, and the stockings were hung over our chimney, and my father had built a cozy fire for Christmas eve. We’d done our obligatory puzzle (Santa always put in the last piece!) and had laid out the cookies for ole St. Nick, and in theory, we were supposed to go to bed. BUT, you see, the FIRE was still blazing! What if it didn’t go out by the time Santa passed by overhead? You can see my concern, and hence, the fit I threw, pleading with my father to put out the fire was entirely justified.

I still consider it the year I saved Santa’s life.

Growing up, did your family have Christmas traditions? Tell us how you incorporated them into your family life. Or, how you created new ones.

Living in Siberia, without extended family, we had to work hard to create traditions for our family. I took every scrap of family tradition we had an ramped it up to full setting – from decorating Christmas cookies on Christmas eve, to importing canned clams to make the request clam chowder soup, to refining the family recipes to fit Russian ingredients (and even creating a Warren family Christmas cookbook). I found the perfect puzzle and carted it with me around the world (see previous story!), and even made homemade stockings for the children with their names on them. The only new tradition I created was the annual “open one gift” the night before (because it was SO painful to wait until morning!). The thing is – mom picks the present, and it’s always the same thing – Jammies! (Although I always pretend it won’t be, and the kids appropriate pretend to be surprised!) Hey, jammies can be suprising, right?

When do you put up your tree? Describe the decorating at your house.

Oh, how I longed for a tree in Russia (as evidence to all my Josey books, where Josey longs for a tree!) But Russians don’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th of Dec. (in fact, some don’t celebrate it at all). They do, however, celebrate New Year’s Eve with decorated trees, so my hubby would scour the markets and snap up the first tree he could find, using bringing home a Charlie Brown variety (because they also don’t have Christmas tree farms), on or about Christmas eve. Since moving back home, we’ve deicded to take advantage of having trees, and we put our tree up the first Sunday in December. But we still opt for the Charlie Brown variety – we live in 5 acres of wooded forest, and every year we tromp out in the snow and have a family wrestling match to see what tree we’ll pick. We call Sarah the Tree Police because she has final approval. Then we haul it in, and chop it down to size (this year it is 15 feet tall) and string lights. I give the children an ornament every year for Christmas, and I have an extensive collection of Christmas angels, and we listen to carols, eat Borscht (Russian soup) and then decorate the tree. There may or may not be a glass of my husband’s homemade raspberry wine involved in that process also, depending on the aforementioned wrestling match/argument about the tree and its worthiness. Mom can only take so much fun.

What is your favorite Christmas song or album? (Feel free here to talk about choirs or other musical things you participate in during Christmas.)

Hmm...can I name a book? Because it’s hard to pick a favorite song, but for years I read “The Worst Christmas Pageant ever” to my kids. And then they got to perform it in the local playhouse. Now, we’ve moved onto Dave Barry’s, The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog. Hilarious!

Relive your childhood Christmas mornings for us.

I’m up early, and I get to unload my stocking without mom or dad. Then we stare at the clock until 7am, willing it to move faster, until finally, finally it dongs the hour, and then we assault our parents with tidings of great joy. They stumble out of bed and do agonizingly unimportant things like make coffee and brush their teeth. And then we open gifts. It takes a long time because we pass them out, one at a time, in a circle, and give the appropriate reverence for each gift. About three hours later, when hunger is starting to kick in, we eat cinnamon rolls, egg casserole and those cute little smoky sausages.

And then we take a nap with all our loot while mom cooks the turkey.

Let’s see, that’s what I did last year. Now, something from my childhood?

Tell us about your Christmas setting--do you have a white Christmas?

Northern Minnesota. ‘Nuf said.

It's Christmas Eve… Describe your day and evening.

We have the same meal every year – Clam Chowder soup, homemade rolls, meats and cheeses, with decorated Christmas cookies. I usually make the cookies in advance, and the kids decorate them while I finish up with the soup. Then, we lay the table, (but don’t eat yet) and dress up for Christmas eve service. Then, we go out for the early service, and return in time to have hot wassail (or a variation thereof) and eat soup. Then we pass out the first presents (see story above) and, wearing said first presents, we open up the card table and do a puzzle. Now that we are stateside, I get a new puzzle every year - - usually about 750-1000 pieces. The goal is to finish it before bedtime (leaving one piece out for Santa). In years past, the kids would go to bed, and then Drew and I would stay up until roughly 3am, wrapping and assembling. Now, I’ve wizened up. I wrap all my presents BEFORE Christmas eve. (then again, I no longer have to hide them to keep my boys from unwrapping them early!) We fill the stockings, I put the casserole into the oven on time bake, and we drop into bed.

Confession time. Shop on line or at the mall?

Both! I do all my big shopping online (because I hate crowds when I’m on a mission) but all my incidentals at the Mall. I need to add here that I am 3 hours from the nearest mall, and I do all my Mall shopping at Thanksgiving in Iowa while visiting my in-laws. It’s one day of eating, two days of shopping. I think that’s a good balance for anyone.

Christmas grows more and more commercial every year. Setting the hustle and bustle aside, what does Christmas really mean to you?

I recently watched the Nativity movie. And as the star shone down on Bethlehem, chills went through me, as if it was hitting me anew. The fact that God would come down in the form of a helpless baby, for the purpose of dying for our sins so we could be forgiven and join him in heaven…that takes my breath away. Frankly, I think it takes everyone’s breath away, and our minds are so unable to comprehend it, that we take our eyes off the truth, looking at it through our peripheral, distracting ourselves with presents and food and festivities. Yes, we’re celebrating.

But somehow, I think that we should be on our faces, weeping. I think someday we will be.

It's Christmas day… what's for dinner? Do you make cookies or other traditional foods?

Turkey! Thyme Stuffing, corn pudding, sweet potato pie (from our stint in the south!), broccoli and cheese, crescent rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole (not the usual one), cream cheese jello salad (because I’m Minnesotan), wild rice casserole (again, Minnesotan), cream cheese pie (Andrew’s favorite), and French silk pie (my favorite). Cookies: Sugar, Ginger Snaps, Peanut Butter kiss cookies.

Tell us about your favorite Christmas memory.

I’m a Minnesotan to the bone, and one of my favorite activities is sledding. My father would take us out on Christmas day, while my mom was cooking, and we’d head over to the “Big Hill.” These were the days when our suburb was largely undeveloped, and there was giant, steep hill in the woods behind our house. In the summertime, there was an old, rusty car that someone had pushed down the hill and abandoned, and it terrified me, haunted as it was with the memory of what might have happened in that car. (I had an overactive imagination even then). In the winter, laced with snow and ice, it was just a piece of junk that held now power to terrify. After all, with my daddy with me, it wasn’t going to come alive or anything (like it could in summer!)

We had a long toboggan, and me and my brother and my dad would climb on. My dad would sit behind us and wrap his legs around us. Our job was to hold his legs on, and usually I’d get his big sorrel boots that weighed fifty tons each. Then, he’d push off, and we’d barrel down the mountain of doom, screaming at the top of our lungs (okay, probably it was only me doing the screaming) the snow flying up into our eyes, our noses, stinging our cheeks. Usually we’d wipe out at the bottom, laughing, breathless, in a tangled mess of joy. After a couple hours of wild abandon, when we could no longer feel our toes or fingers, we’d trudge home to hot cocoa and succulent turkey.

I’m still a sledder at heart. Always waiting for that next exhilarating, icy, dangerous ride down the Big Hill.

What are your plans for this season?

Okay, you’ll think I’m crazy, but I love to write – especially when I don’t have a deadline! So, I have this idea for a Christmas story…

But, I’ll also cook, and make merry with my kids and go snowmobiling with my hubby (that’s sort of like sledding, you know.)

Any final thoughts on Christmas?

I have recently decided that Christmas is a mother’s diabolical weapon to ensure the return of her children when they grow into adults. The more significance and tradition I infuse into Christmas, the more I’ve hooked the hearts of my children. I now have them believing they can’t have Christmas without mom’s soup, my Christmas rolls, my special cookies.

And anyone who tells them otherwise is in very big trouble.

Whatever your traditions are, wherever you celebrate the greatest gift ever given, have a merry one ~ from Susan May Warren and the Warren family!

Camy here: Thanks for sharing, Susie!

If you haven’t met her, Susie is a wonderfully fun person (well, you can totally see that from her interview answers)!

Everything’s Coming Up Josey was a fun romp in Russia, and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Chill Out, Josey!


Ausjenny said…
Thanks so much for sharing. I love the puzzle idea. I always start one christmas day.
When we moved from the farm to the town we use to have a double chimney although the one in the lounge wasn't burning in summer (Christmas) the one in the Kitchen often did. and knowing how thin a chimney it was i use to wonder how santa could come also. Mum and Dad said he can come in the door. so every year we left the back door unlocked so he could come in.

Thanks so much for sharing your memories. I have loved reading everyones Christmas memories and traditions.
Elysa said…
Ooooh...I'm so glad that Josey is getting another chance to share a chapter in her life...or in this case, a whole 'nuther book! I really enjoyed her first adventure. I guess as a former single missionary, I could relate to many aspects of the story.

Keep up the great writing, Susan, and Camy,thanks for the interview! This is a fun idea.:)

Popular Posts

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Rules, rules, rules

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.09.2009 Well, I have discovered that I need to comply with California law in order to do my book giveaways. Who knew there were so many rules? It doesn’t really affect you guys much, except that I can no longer mail the books internationally . Sorry, guys, but I really don’t relish spending any time in prison. Here’s the new rules, effective for any give away on this blog, in my newsletter , or on my website after September 9th, 2009: Disclaimer: 1. No purchase necessary to enter any give aways given on this blog (, in my newsletter (, or on my website ( The give away will end on the date stated in the posting. The opportunity to play may be affected by local ability to access the Internet at any particular time. The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. 2. Open to all readers, 18 years or older who are legally allowed to participate in su

Speed reading

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.04.2007 I totally want to learn to speed read. My friend Georgiana found a website and posted a few tips on her blog: Speed Reading 101 If I could speed read, I could read so many more books than I do now! I think my biggest problem is sub-vocalizing my words. I don’t think I’ve EVER not done it. I don’t know if I’d be able to not do it. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Anybody have tips?

Sneak peek: Camy’s Kickstarter rewards

This Kickstarter is going to be awesome! I’ve been planning rewards that’ll knock your socks off! Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check out this blog post about my Kickstarter. I posted a description of the rewards (and pictures) on Patreon. Click here to check out the Kickstarter rewards! You can Follow my Kickstarter to be notified when it’s launched, and I’ll also announce in my newsletter when it’s live. Follow Camy’s Kickstarter here

Favorite chocolate?

Captain's Log, Stardate 04.22.2008 Lately I’ve been on this chocolate kick. Normally, I’m not a huge chocoholic like Captain Caffeine. I enjoy chocolate, but if given a choice, I’ll usually choose a fruit or custard/creamy dessert over a triple decadence chocolate layer cake or a chocolate-lovers’ downfall brownie. But lately, I’ve been eating dark chocolate squares. I think it started when I went into Joseph Schmidt gourmet chocolate shop in Santana Row. We’d gotten Joseph Schmidt truffles for Christmas, and they’d been fabulous—I can honestly say that they were as good as DeBrand truffles (author Colleen Coble’s favorite). So when I saw the brick and mortar shop in Santana Row, I went in immediately. Inside, this man was buying up stacks—and I kid you not, stacks —of the Joseph Schmidt Belgian Dark Chocolate bars. He raved about them, said they were terrific. A cashier was restocking the display case the man had cleaned out, and I snagged a bar. “I’ve got to try one, after watc

「戌年」連載小説 第11章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第11章 - タビー猫、黒猫、灰色と茶色の縞猫 彼女の母親は何かを摂取したに違いない。何を摂取したかはわからないが、代謝が急激に上がり、まるで神経質なリスのようになった。マリには、過去数日間に母親が家全体を掃除させた理由


I know I blogged about this on my Writing Diary Blog , but I don’t think I blogged about this here. I read a few writing and productivity books, and I’ve been trying to form better daily habits. The problem is that my self-discipline is very bad. As in, embarrassingly bad. One of my goals has been to form a better writing habit. Since I’m a full-time writer, I already write every day, but I think there are things I can do to tweak my schedule so that I can be able to focus better when I write. I tend to get distracted by the thought of things I need to do that day which I haven’t done yet. I don’t know why my brain is like this, but I haven’t been able to break this tendency. So for example, while I’m writing, I’ll suddenly think about the fact that today’s the day when I need to change the bathroom towels, or mop the kitchen floor, or change the bedsheets. It’ll distract me for a few moments before I tell myself I’ll do it later and I need to focus on writing now. Then a few

Hello 2014!

I LOVE New Year’s Resolutions. I know lots of you hate them but I LOVE making them. I hardly ever fulfill them but it’s still fun making them because the whole year is new and filled with possibility. Last year, I was upset to get sidelined by plantar fasciitis so that I couldn’t run the Honolulu Marathon in December as I’d planned. My head and spirit weren’t in a good place for much of last year, which affected my work, and to cope, I slipped back into bad eating habits while I was under deadline for books. I gained 5-8 pounds over the year and felt like a gigantic blob sitting in my work chair. My New Year’s Resolution is to lose 30 pounds and train for the Honolulu Marathon in December 2014! I want to stop snacking while I work because I’ve gotten used to having something in my mouth as I’m typing, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Instead, I’d like to get up from my work, have a snack at the table, and then return to my work. I actually started my resolution early and re

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th