Dec 052012

20 days until Christmas


Gregg Luke was born in Bakersfield, California but spent the majority of his youth in Santa Barbara, California. He served an LDS mission in Wisconsin, then pursued his education in Biologic Sciences SBCC, UCSB, and BYU. He completed his schooling at the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy.

In addition to his pharmacy practice, Gregg is an avid reader and writer. He has published in Skin Diver Magazine, the Oceanographic Letter, Destiny Magazine, Pharmacy Times, and the New Era. His fictional novels include The Survivors, Do No Harm, Altered State, Blink of an Eye, Bloodborne, and Deadly Undertakings, five of which were Whitney Award finalists. Visit him at


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LDSWBR: Do you top your Christmas tree with a star, angel, or something else? Does it have special meaning to you?

GREGG: We top our tree with an angel. I don’t know why we’ve always done so. I guess we’ve never found a star we really liked.

LDSWBR: What is your favorite Christmas movie? Why is it your favorite?

GREGG: I have two favorite Christmas movies: Seasons of the Heart and Christmas Vacation. The first because it expresses the true meaning of Christmas so well, and the second because it expresses the silliness that people get themselves into over the season.

LDSWBR: What Christmas gift have you been most excited to give?

GREGG: My favorite Christmas gift was being able to give my dad a book he’d been looking for for a long time. This was before the Internet and Amazon, so it was quite a challenge, but I was able to do it. I’ll never forget the look on his face. Priceless.

LDSWBR: What a great gift and memory. Thank you, Gregg!

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Purchase Deadly Undertakings


 Being an assistant to the state midical examiner in Salt Lake City might sound like a dead-end job, but Rebekah Smith loves the mystery and challenge of determining the cause of death in the bodies delivered to their morgue. Tutored by her friend and boss, Dr. Sandeep Mahesh, she gains understanding not only for her job but also for how to mask her own troubled past.

While analyzing the corpse of a 100 year old woman, Rebekah discovers some disturbing elements: not only was the deceased woman a healthy centenarain, but she was also embalmed before anyone discovered she’d passed away. When two identical cases surface, Rebekah enlists the help of her boyfriend, special investigations officer, Josh Logan. Together they uncover shocking truths about the bizarre deaths, which eventually lead them to the nightmarish revelation they weren’t prepared for. Yet, unknowingly, the more they reveal, the closer they come to being the killer’s next guinea pigs.

 Do you have a silly “Christmas Vacation” memory in your family? What is your favorite scene in Christmas Vacation?

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To enter the LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2012, leave a thoughtful comment below.

Be sure to comment on each Countdown to Christmas 2012 post for more chances to win. Please click through to the website as only comments submitted directly on this post will be accepted.

Prizes include a $50 Amazon gift card and the author-donated books listed below. This is raffle-style drawing where all entries throughout the contest period are entered into the same “hat” for all prizes. US only. 18 years and older please. See all contest rules and restrictions below.

If you don’t already follow LDSWBR through email, Facebook or Twitter (those cute little book buttons on the sidebar) you may want to consider doing so during the contest so you don’t miss any posts or chances to enter the drawing. Following LDSWBR is not required but it is nice to know that our book reviews are useful to other readers. :)

If one of our LDSWBR reviews has ever helped you find a book you enjoyed, perhaps you would consider helping us spread the word about the LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2012. A link posted to your friends and family either in email or on your favorite social network would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks!

By leaving a comment and entering the Countdown to Christmas 2012, you agree to the contest rules below:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY; entrants must be 18 years or older; open to residents of continental US only; giveaway begins December 3, 2012 and all entries must be received by 12:00 Midnight December 23, 2012 Mountain Time; to enter, complete the required entry on each post and any additional entries of your choice if listed; LDS Women’s Book Review reserves the right to determine what is considered a thoughtful comment as per each posts required entry; giveaway prizes include a $50 Amazon gift card and a variety of book prizes donated by featured authors; the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning; LDS Women’s Book Review is not liable for technical problems which may affect entry into the giveaway; winner identity will be verified by email address; winner will be selected December 27, 2012 by use of a sequence generator on; winner will have until January 3, 2013 to claim their prize; if any prize winner forfeits or does not claim prize, prize will be re-awarded to next winner in sequence; all prizes will be awarded; limit of two prizes per entrant; this contest/giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified; by entering the giveaway you give LDS Women’s Book Review the right to publicize your name on the LDS Women’s Book Review blog; winner agrees to release LDS Women’s Book Review from any liability as a result of winning; email comments & questions to LDS Women’s Book Review – ldswbr (at) gmail (dot) com; giveaway subject to Utah regulations; VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Book Prizes (as of December 5, 2012 – more to be added to this list!)

  • Tres Leches Cupcakes by Josi S. Kilpack (signed paperback copy)
  • Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Chantele Sedgwick (paperback or ebook)
  • Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke (personalized paperback)

Previous Countdown to Christmas 2012 posts:


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  18 Responses to “Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke – Countdown to Christmas 2012”

  1. I don’t have a “silly” Christmas memory. I do love to watch that show though!

  2. I don’t really have any silly Christmas memories, but when I was really young, on Christmas Eve, my parents would point out flashing red lights in the sky (airplanes) and tell us that that was Rudolph and that we needed to hurry and get to bed so that Santa could come. :o)

  3. My favorite Christmas memory is when I was about 6-7 and my parents took my siblings and I on a scavenger hunt, which then lead us to tickets to go to Disneyland! Super fun!!!

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “Christmas Vacation” (maybe I should check it out) and sadly, I don’t really have any silly Christmas memories. I do laugh, however, when my husband tells about being a boy and hearing jingle bells during the night (which he later learned were very carefully strung by his mom so she could pull on a string and ring them from another part of the house).

  5. Thankfully my Christmas memories don’t involve anything close to what I remember from Christmas Vacation. Growing up we always had a Christmas Eve program with our extended family. My Aunt and Uncle were very creative and always came up with some sort of skit or silly game that brought lots of laughs.

  6. This is one of my husband’s favorite Christmas movies. The part I like best is the squirrel that comes out of the Christmas tree, and runs around the house and everyone is trying to catch it.
    We are pretty much a normal family, and no Christmas Vacation memories.

  7. When we lived in a tiny apartment in NYC, we were a bit discouraged, our first Christmas away from family in UT and TX. We heard about a tree lot about 8 blocks away selling Christmas trees at a cheap price. So, for FHE, we bundled up our 3 little ones, got my wife’s little wire cart that she used for toting groceries and laundry and walked the 8 blocks. We found the perfect tree and in high spirits, set off for home, singing and full of cheer. The tree sort of fit in the cart, but I had to hold the top of it with one hand while pushing with the other. After a block, I started getting sore. After 2 blocks, my muscles hurt. After three, I was in agony and the kids started getting tired and whiny. After four, a wheel on the cart broke. Somehow, with both my muscles and the cart near death, we got home. We’ve never enjoyed a tree more, though.

  8. I’ve read The Survivors and thought it was great! This one sounds like another good one from Gregg Luke! I’m happy to see him part of the countdown.

  9. Silly vacation memory…….when my little brother was younger, he made a big deal about how cool BLUE christmas lights were, so now whenever we see blue Christmas lights, we tease him a little.

  10. I have never watched that movie and we never traveled during Christmas because we were lucky enough to have both sets of Grandparents 15 minutes away.

  11. I think I would have to find the edited version of that movie for my family to watch! :) We lived too far from family for years so we developed our own traditions at home. Then we did move closer to fam, I decided we could still stay home and enjoy each other.

  12. It’s been too long since I’ve seen Christmas Vacation. Guess it’s time to rent that one.
    I’d love to win Gregg’s book.

  13. My favorite Christmas present was when my grandparent took me to Wales to welcome in the new millenium.

  14. We sort of made a tradition of trekking out into the woods to look for a tree each year, not finding one, and then buying one of the leftover trees on a tree lot on Christmas Eve.

    I don’t remember Christmas Vacation very well (watching it wasn’t a tradition in my family) but I thought the over done lights on the house were kinda funny.

  15. We got teddy bears that repeat everything you said and my sister said were is my bra. And we all just started laughing. There are so many parts I love about Christmas Vacation. My where the icicles that go in to the neighbors house. I quote that line all the time.

  16. Unfortunately I can’t think of any silly “Christmas Vacation” memories in my family. We do have many traditions, though. One of my favorites is writing secret notes to each other throughout the month of December and putting them in each others stockings. Then on Christmas morning we get to read all the notes family members left during the month.

  17. The silly moment my sister likes to share is when my mom dropped the Santa bomb in front of my younger brother and I said, “Mom! Santa is real! Shh!” I totally thought he still believed. So to this day, they all say I was 14 and still a believer. =)

  18. My favorite tradition in my family is to watch “Christmas Vacation” on Christmas Eve. Love that movie!!!

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