We have a winner! Marie-Claude Arnott, your name was selected at random to receive Sarah’s giveaway prize of a $10 gift card. Marie-Claude, Sarah will be in touch with you! Thanks to everyone who stopped by–we do love talking to our readers!
I’m so excited to have Sarah Vance-Tompkins with me today. We met at the Tule Author Retreat in July and she just utterly charmed me–an immediate kindred spirit. Not only was she fun and lovely, but she’s from my favorite state in the union–Michigan!
Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She received an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and went on to work in feature film development for ten years. Prior to film school, she worked as an on-air radio personality. She is a lifetime reader of romance and is excited to be writing in the genre. She and her husband live in Southern California with a glaring of unruly cats.
Her new Christmas romance released yesterday and I am crazy about this cover! Can’t wait to read this one.
Sarah, the floor is yours…
Making Christmas Magic
My first job out of college was working at a local radio station. I had the midday shift, but on holidays they gave the morning disc jockey the day off, and so I was given the early shift on Christmas morning. Seems reasonable until your alarm goes off at 3 a.m. on a cold snowy middle of the night.
There were no other cars. And the snowplows hadn’t been out to clear off the road. All the houses were dark. The few convenience stores were closed for the holiday. There was no place to stop and get coffee. The small-town radio station where I worked didn’t stay on the air overnight. There wasn’t even any music on the radio to keep me company. It was a long, lonely drive with a lot of time to wallow in the fact that I was missing loved ones for Christmas.
My grandma had passed just before Thanksgiving, leaving me with a gaping hole in my already tattered heart. She was a force. Full of joie de vivre and a source of impish devil-may-care charm. She loved the holidays. Her death came as a surprise soon after my dad died due to a brutal battle with a heart condition. I was still hardly able to cope with his death.
I got to the radio station and hustled inside to get out of the cold. I turned on the transmitter to warm up all the equipment. I wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit, but I flipped the switch and greeted my audience with the warmest holiday wishes before starting the turntable for what would be the first of many Christmas songs I’d play during the shift.
Within a few minutes a listener called to wish me a Merry Christmas while waiting on family to arrive. An advertiser dropped off breakfast, after hearing me wish everyone a Merry Christmas. One of my work colleagues stopped by on his way to the nearby sledding hill with his kids. He was feeling lucky that he had the day off, so he brought me Christmas cookies. By the time my shift was over, and I was headed home with a backseat full of gifts for my family, and cheerful Christmas music on the radio and I was looking forward to spending time with my family.
That’s the thing I’ve learned about Christmas. Sometimes you’re the person surprised by a bit of Christmas magic. Other times, you’re the person making the magic that provides someone with Christmas joy.
My new book from Tule Publishing, The Christmas Dilemma, is about being able to find joy again after a loss. And making the choice to be the person who makes magic for someone else, even when you believe you’re the one in need of Christmas magic. That’s Eli’s dilemma.
GIVEAWAY! In the comments below, tell me which role you prefer: to be the subject of Christmas magic made by someone else. Or to be the person who makes the holiday magical for someone else. I’ll choose one at random to be a winner of a $10 AMAZON gift card. We’ll announce a winner on Saturday morning.
Thank you and happiest holiday wishes to you and yours. xo,
The Christmas Dilemma
Skipping Christmas is easy. But it’s impossible to deny your heart…
Eli Adair is the first call whenever his family and friends need a hand. But this Christmas, he has no obligations, so he’s taking a break from the stress of big family celebrations. No presents under the tree. No stockings by the fireplace. No twinkling lights.
All he wants is to be home alone at Hillcrest House.
Travel nurse Audrey Elliott is returning to Christmas Tree Cove hoping for a big holiday celebration like the ones on her grandparents’ farm—all she has left of happier times before her mom’s condition lost those memories. Candy canes. Gingerbread houses. Holiday carols.
All Audrey wants is a place to call home for Christmas.
When a high school friend assures her there’s plenty of room at Hillcrest House, it seems like all her Christmas dreams are coming true until she discovers she’ll be living with Eli, the boy she’s never forgotten. Or the first kiss they shared.
Eli and Audrey are about to discover whether December is about reliving traditions—or making new ones.