Character Arcs, Christmas feels, and why magic is at the heart of The Christmas We Knew


We all have regrets. If you could go back in time and do it all over again, knowing what you know now—what would you change? The answer to that, for many of us, would fill a book. And, for my characters at least, that’s exactly what I’ve done with my new, magic-fueled Christmas release The Christmas We Knew.

In this case, both the hero and the heroine (Hopper and Cookie from Wrecking Christmas, remember them?) are long lost lovers who’ve been separated by time, betrayal, and in Hopper’s case, jail time. They’ve healed from their mistakes and moved on, even if their hearts haven’t necessarily gotten the memo. And when each of them step, separately, into a mysterious mountain Christmas shop, they each go on their journey back in time, fueled by the gifts of their Christmases past.

Many of you may wonder why I’ve chosen to weave magic and mystery into my books, when I could simply have written a straight on, contemporary Christmas romance. I’m using time travel, in this instance, to illustrate a fantasy we all have, at one time or another, had about our lives. When we turn over our mistakes in our mind, we often think—oh if I only could go back. Things would be so different. I’d fix this, or tell so-and-so that. But as Hopper and Cookie(Delilah) find out, it doesn’t work that way. They may have been back in their younger bodies, or viewing a scene from their younger lives. But their more mature minds see and hear things completely differently than they did back then. A whole different set of emotions are involved because they are different people now. They notice what they didn’t notice before. They uncover secrets. They ask questions that had gone unanswered. And what they find out changes everything they thought they knew about their lives.

When the magic is over, they come back to the present armed with the knowledge that can make a difference. They’ve moved to a point where they’re ready to have this “one great love” back in their lives for good. Is it a little bit Groundhog Day, and a little bit Christmas Carol? Yeah, I’ll cop to that. But when you wrap all that up in a second chance romance, that puts a whole different spin on it.

It’s enough to give you a case of the Christmas fuzzies, y’all. It’s also the hottest of all my books yet. Hopper and Delilah had a relationship that was explosively sexual, right from the start. Add 16 years of separation and angst to that and hoo! You might need oven mitts to hold this one. My editor told me the characters have “beautiful chemistry,” and my beta readers seem to agree. I hope you do, too!

The Christmas We Knew is available on Amazon for Pre-order from October 1-15, 2020, for just 99 cents. It’s free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers starting October 15, and paperback sales begin on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram Spark starting October 15.


Now on KU, too!

The Christmas We Knew isn’t the only one of my books that posits a central, magical question. In Wrecking Christmas, I ask—if two people with very tragic pasts were forced together in a magical place that populated around all their wishes and desires, would they have the perfect Christmas? Would they be happy? If you were ever fans of Fantasy Island in the 1970s, you may remember that it was in fact, a cautionary tale. People got all their wishes granted. But it didn’t fix their problems.

Kathryn and Hunter in this book find that being in the enchanted mountain town of Christmas Pass only highlighted all the things that were wrong with their lives. They’re trapped in a place that’s one part Fantasy Island, and one part Brigadoon. And even in this magical place, they have to fight to find their way to each other, and to want something better for themselves–a life filled with love after terrible loss. The love they find together is hard won, and real and exciting to see unfold. I’m proud to say readers thought the same thing. It’s why the book beat out so many other published romances to win The HOLT Medallion, given by the Romance Writers of America.

In case you’re wondering, there are no cliffhangers in these books. They can be read out of order, and still make perfect sense. I hope you’ll give them both a try, of course. I’ve spent a lot of time sitting with these stories, and the characters are very, very alive to me. I hope they will be to you, too. They’re wonderful people to know.

Happy reading y’all. And don’t let anybody tell you it’s too early to celebrate the magic of Christmas. We can use a little more of that, all year ’round.