Davalynn Spencer is an award-winning journalist whose writing has taken her from the city crime beat and national rodeo circuit to adjunct professorship and inspirational publication.

Her work has appeared in The Upper Room, Power for Living, The Quiet Hour, Chicken Soup for the Soul, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, and Prorodeo Sports News. She also speaks and leads worship at women’s retreats and writes an inspirational column for The Line Rider, a publication of the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys.

Davalynn makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with her husband, Mike, and their Queensland heeler, Blue.

What sparked your writing journey?

A creative sixth-grade teacher encouraged me to write, and a high school English instructor did the same. With their support, I explored the world of written words and decided I wanted to live there.

How does your faith play into your work?

Most of my early writing had everything to do with faith in Jesus. My inspirational work has appeared in Standard, Christian Standard, The Upper Room, The Quiet Hour, and Power for Living, and I write a column for the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys Line Rider, “A Western Woman’s Heart.” I spent several years as a crime-beat reporter and religion page editor for a mid-size daily newspaper, and today as a columnist for that paper, I offer my observations from a Christian world view.

Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?

That would be my work as a journalist. I didn’t plan to work at a daily newspaper, but my experiences as a freelance writer for magazines like Western Horseman, American Cowboy, and Prorodeo Sports News provided background in interviewing and photography that transferred perfectly to the newsroom.

Let’s talk about your new e-book, As You Are at Christmas (White Rose Publishing, November 2012). Please tell us about it.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and it wasn’t hard to create a Colorado love story set against the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Of course the heroine is a lovely young woman, but as a seat-of-the-pants writer, I had to do something with the ragged and mangy dog that showed up. Along with the mutt came a deep-seated truth: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We don’t usually think of the Lord’s death at Christmas, but sacrifice was the purpose of His mission on earth. I believe that sacrifice is portrayed beautifully in the story of Beauty and the Beast. If Beauty had waited for Beast to become lovely and lovable, Beast would have died under the curse. Instead, she loved him as he was, and that love transformed and restored him. A double-pronged theme of restorative love runs through the novella.

A few fun questions…

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Carol: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Contemporary: Breath of Heaven

What’s your favorite Christmas comfort food?

Pumpkin bread. The kind my heroine makes. The recipe is on my website.

What’s your favorite Christmas memory or tradition?

My mother made cloud-like divinity candy. She’d make a batch just for me without nuts and dye it pink or green. I tried to make it one year for my children and burned up the mixer. That’s when I switched to pumpkin bread, frosted sugar cookies, and candy-dipped pretzels.

Which best describes your perfect Christmas tree: a lush blue spruce decorated with the latest couture; a shaggy cedar covered in homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn; a vintage aluminum tree with shiny glass bulbs; or a palm tree adorned with pink flamingos?

As a Coloradan, my tree is definitely a blue spruce. But I have boxes of my children’s homemade ornaments, memories of popcorn garland, and several delicate glass ornaments that contradict the rocking horses and cowboys. Eclectic?

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pet(s) and what’s in his/her Christmas stocking(s) this year.

Our Queensland heeler, Blue (original, I know), doesn’t like the reindeer antlers my husband bought for him. But he does like to romp through the snow. In his stocking this year? People crackers.

Thanks, Davalynn! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour!

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For more information about Davalynn, visit her website at http://www.davalynnspencer.com or her blog at http://www.davalynnspencer.blogspot.com.

To purchase As You Are at Christmas logon to: