What inspired you to write THIS CHRISTMAS?
My pastor, an avid snowboarder, shared how much he enjoyed visiting Park City, Utah. His stories inspired me to dream up a suspense series set in a fictional ski village called Polaris. For THIS CHRISTMAS, I wanted to feature a ‘seasoned’ second chance couple with older kids, and the good and bad that come with an empty nest.
After closing his eyes, he reopened them and took a deep breath. Their Christmas tree was set up in the corner, filled with lights and family ornaments. Three stockings hung off the fireplace mantel. Grief and anger scorched his insides. Why had Kenna decorated for Christmas after he’d asked her to leave everything packed away? His late wife’s stocking, snuggled between Kenna’s and his own, ripped at his heart. I can’t breathe. The bright and cheery room blurred his vision. Christmas was no longer welcome in his house. How could he celebrate when his world had been crushed?
"This is such a fun story, a story that tells of difficulties in families, but love still flows through no matter what. . . . If you are looking for a good clean story to read during the Christmas holiday, this is a great choice."
“No one will blame you for taking a day off.” She rested a hand on his arm. “Especially for your daughter.”
“I’ll take some time off once we find Alex and arrest the bad guys.” The corner of his lip lifted in a semi-smile.
Removing his hands from her hair, he rested one on each cheek, gently cupping her face.
The smooth touch of metal on her skin made her jerk away. She didn’t have to see his left hand to know he still wore his wedding ring. She struggled for breath and the right words, finally pulling away.
“I’m fine with being alone.” Luke’s blue eyes darkened, turning the color of the sky at twilight.
“I’m a cop and a Marine veteran. No, you don’t want to know what I have planned.” Luke walked over to the old radio and turned up the volume. A modern country melody filled the space. “If you were back at Stanford, you could date without interference from your overprotective dad.”
“What’s he doing here?” Andrew scowled. “And why is your face so red, Mom? Maybe you should sit. You look ready to fall over.”
The roads in town had been cleared, but as soon as he reached the mountain pass leading to the cabin, conditions grew worse. His four-wheel-drive truck struggled in spots, and he drove slow and steady. The last thing he needed now was to send his truck, along with himself, over a cliff. Normally, the trip took about forty-five minutes. Today, he white-knuckled it for an hour and a half before reaching the driveway to the cabin.
“Yes, he was.” Celia wondered how he’d look now, if he’d lived to see his forties. Would his hair have turned silver early, like his dad’s? Would he have had to work out to keep the extra weight from creeping on, like she did, or would he have kept his youthful metabolism? “Luis and I didn’t wait for someday. We had a good life together, even if it was too short.”
'A beautiful story of loss and new love, set in a snow-capped mountain ski resort town.'
Celia Batista waited a long time for all three of her sons to be together for Christmas. But after one of her identical twins disappears without a trace, Celia must rely on Police Captain Luke Veldkamp for help. Despite Luke’s accusations that her other twin son is involved with organized crime, she falls for the handsome, Stetson wearing cop.
Luke Veldkamp is facing his first Christmas after the loss of his wife, working nonstop to avoid the holidays and his grief. His daughter, who’d moved home to care for her mom before her passing, pushes him to face his pain. Luke pushes back, telling her to return to college and regain her own life. If his own strife isn’t enough, the mission to locate the missing son of his beautiful neighbor grows more personal than any other case.
While Luke and Celia fight to keep their families from falling apart, they find comfort and strength in one another. And when love blooms between their children, Luke and Celia’s own relationship takes root and grows. But Celia is used to living on her own terms, and loving a man who has isolated his heart is a risk too great. Now, Luke must either confront his emotions or face a life without the woman he’s come to love.
About the Author
One winner will receive a Loqi Reusable Shopping Bag with birds design, Soy Wax Candle - Snowflake and a $25 Amazon gift card (US only)
Ends October 28, 2020