Today, I’m excited to have Patricia Kiyono, a fellow author from the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group guesting on Books and Bones. She is introducing her new Christmas story, Christmas Wishes. Not only is it a great story, but it has a gorgeous cover! Take it away, Patty…
Thanks so much for having me here on your blog, Tess! I’m so pleased to announce the release of Christmas Wishes from a new publisher called EsKape Press! Christmas is my favorite time of year. Right after Thanksgiving dinner is over I take out my holiday decorations and start addressing my Christmas cards. That doesn’t mean I’m always ready by the time December 25th rolls around, but I try. With five kids (three with spouses) and nine grandkids, shopping takes a lot of planning. And up until this fall I still worked two part-time jobs in addition to writing. But the work is always worth the effort when everyone gathers around the table for our Christmas pizza. Yes, our Christmas dinner is always pizza!
A more recent tradition for me is the release of a Christmas story. This year I drew on my experience as an elementary school music teacher and some of my challenges producing children’s programs both at school and at church. I also highlighted some of the quirks of living in a predominantly Dutch community. The first time my editor read it she wondered why I had so many names starting with the letters V and Z! But I’m hoping the story of Sophie and Mitch is one you can relate to whether you live in west Michigan or not. Here’s a little bit about the book:
Blurb: Mitch Carson is tired of the big city. In his former life, he’d been a news photographer in Chicago, where the dangers are endless. But now, he just wants to settle down in this quiet town with his daughter, Angie. Here, his only fear is losing his daughter to his scheming mother-in-law.
Sophie Gardner wants to be a screenwriter. She’s ready to leave small town Zutphen, Michigan and go to Hollywood. With a theater degree under her belt, she’s busy writing scripts while helping out her sister Joanie, who’s bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. Unfortunately, Joanie has somehow coerced Sophie into directing the Christmas pageant at Zutphen Community Church.
When Sophie and Mitch meet, the attraction is instant and mutual. But each wants what the other is trying to get away from. Can they deny their feelings and pursue their dreams? Or will the holiday prove to them that their true wishes might not be what they’d thought?
Excerpt — Sophie finds out from her sister Joanie exactly what’s involved in directing the church’s Christmas pageant:
“All right. So you need a theme that’s different from what’s been done before, right? Or at least something that hasn’t been done in a while.”
“Right. That’s why I thought it would be easiest to just have the younger kids be part of the Christmas play with the older kids.”
“You said you had your cast all selected?”
“Yeah, I have an idea of who could do the parts.”
“An idea? You haven’t talked to these kids to find out if they will do them?”
“Well, no. Not yet. But I’m sure they will. Their parents will agree to it. And we already have costumes. I saw the box of costumes in the basement closet, next to the choir robes.”
“What kind of costumes? Have you looked at them? Were they made for kids, or adults?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t get around to opening the box. I just saw that it was labeled ‘Costumes’.” She frowned. “That was on my list of things to do before the doctor put me on bed rest.”
“Wonderful. You’ve got a cast who doesn’t know that they’ve been selected, a script that hasn’t been written, and a box labeled “costumes” that may or may not actually contain ones you need. What else?”
“That should be it. Oh, and you might need to reserve the sanctuary for practices. And the pageant itself.”
“I have to reserve the church for the pageant, which is always on the Sunday before Christmas? What else would they do on that day, besides have the pageant?”
“I don’t know. But it’s on the list of things I was supposed to do.”