theChristmasThiefJulie Carobini is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Chocolate Beach Series, as well as the Otter Bay Novels: Sweet Waters, A Shore Thing, and Fade to Blue.

While raising three children, Julie began writing articles for a variety of magazines. Her work has covered a variety of issues, from family, to faith, to the sea. Her new general market novella, The Christmas Thief, the first in her Cottage Grove Series, is set in a cabin in the woods.

A life-long coastal-loving girl, Julie resides with her family in California.


Let’s talk about The Christmas Thief (Dolphin Gate, October 2015), a novella in your Garden Cottage Mystery series. Please tell us about it.

Sure! The Christmas Thief is a cozy mystery that readers can curl up with and likely read in one night by a crackling fire. It’s all about one young woman’s dream being turned on its head.

Here’s the back cover:

There’s a thief in the small town of Cottage Grove, and Tasha’s a suspect. Not exactly the dream she’d had in mind when she moved into her rustic fixer-upper cottage. Marc Shepherd wasn’t part of her plans either. The Stetson-wearing contractor moved in next door, kicking up dust and threatening to cut down a beloved pine that shaded Tasha and her dog, Wolfy’s, cabin. With Christmas around the bend, and a criminal threatening the community’s peace, will Tasha solve the puzzle … before it’s too late?

Amanda Flower, USA Today Bestselling Author calls it “A perfect holiday season escape.”

[ctt title=”The Christmas Thief is a cozy mystery that readers can curl up with and likely read in one night by a crackling fire.” tweet=”The Christmas Thief is a cozy mystery that readers can curl up with & likely read in one night by a crackling fire.” coverup=”81UXm”]Is it general market fiction or a CBA release?

The Christmas Thief is a general market fiction release. Specifically, it’s in the Cozy Mystery category. That said, my inspirational fans have told me how much they love it too.

What inspired the story?

Years (and years!) ago, I wrote a few chapters of an inspirational romance which was set in a cabin in the woods. I sent those chapters with a query to a publishing house, and the editor wrote back: “Could you send the rest?”

Of course! I wrote the rest of the chapters and sent them back — and the book was rejected.

Broke my heart, but I wrote another book. That one was rejected, too! Finally I wrote a chick-lit called Chocolate Beach, and that sale led to many other book contracts.

I never forgot about those original characters in the town of Cottage Grove, though. Admittedly, when I dusted off that manuscript, I realized it needed some work. So I called my mom, Elaine, a super-devoted mystery fan, and asked her to brainstorm with me. The result was The Christmas Thief : )

You’re an award-winning author, but you’ve also received an ACFW Carol Award for editing (Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard, B&H Publishing 2013). Does your “editor self” ever do battle with your “writer self”? How do you find balance between the two when writing your first draft?

Yes, my writer self often tells my editor self to take a hike : )

Seriously, writers can experience a ton of freedom, if we allow ourselves, by writing without looking over our shoulders for the editor’s red pen. I’ve been editing and writing for so long that I think I’ve come to appreciate the strengths in both endeavors. At least I hope I have. The main thing is not to be so afraid of the eventual editing process that the writing itself becomes constrained. If that were the case, think of all the gems that might not be uncovered?

[ctt title=”I’ve been editing and writing for so long I’ve come to appreciate the strengths in both endeavors.” tweet=”I’ve been editing & writing for so long I’ve come to appreciate the strengths in both endeavors. ~ @JulieCarobini” coverup=”ofc3B”]

Carobini_headshot-medium-1A few fun questions in celebration of the season…

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey version. And just about anything from Andy Williams because my parents played his Christmas album every year when I was growing up.

What’s your favorite holiday comfort food?

Tamales! We have them every Christmas Eve, and I always buy dozens more to warm up for snacks before and after Christmas.

Even our holiday traditions can take a detour, sometimes creating new traditions. Have you ever had an unexpected or unusual Christmas celebration?

My dear mother-in-law passed away ten days before Christmas a few years ago. Instead of being in our beachy California home where tamales and sun are plentiful, we spent the holiday in snowy Pennsylvania. We even walked to midnight mass (yes, in the snow!) with my sweet father-in-law. The Christmas season helped lift us all during a sad time.

What 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?

Fresh tree, white lights, and ornaments collected from friends over the years. One of my favorites is a “Sand” girl wearing a pink hat, flip flops, and holding a pink parasol.

As a dog lover, I have to ask, will there be any “pet” stockings hanging from the mantle at your house this year?

Yes, Charlie the dog has his own stocking, and if he’s good doggy, there’ll be a treat inside!

Merry Christmas, Julie! It’s great to have you back at DivineDetour.

Merry Christmas to you too, Kathy! And to all your readers as well.

~ ~ ~

For more information about Julie, visit her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

To purchase The Christmas Thief novella, log on to:

Amazon logo