No matter where my stories are set, location is a big factor in their telling. I’ve lived a lot of places and traveled many more. Almost every place has made an impression, from the concrete sidewalks of New York City to the pounding surf in California.
My upcoming Christmas re-release is set in upstate New York. So many memories from that place. My parents had friends and relatives from that area, and we used to visit, particularly when fall foliage was at its height. Rolling valleys of trees, fields, and dairy cows remain in my mind, along with the bright contrast of red barns against the grass.
I missed Woodstock (I was on a boat going to Europe), but a few years later when I was a camp counselor in the Catskills, several of us went to the town for dinner and drinks more than once. It was a hippie happening place back then, long hair, skirts, and vague smiles commonplace.
Later, I took short weekend trips to the Finger Lakes, Albany, and visited some of the small towns. No matter where I went up there, though, the images of red barns, stone houses, and dairy cattle remained.
When this story was first published in 2012, I had a strong image of what the cover should look like, but it never quite fit. Eastern barns are different from western barns, and I really wanted a border collie on the front cover. Now that I am self-publishing the book, I have a cover closer to what I had in mind.
I don’t know if those red barns and dairy cattle are still there, but they will forever be upstate New York in my mind.
Struggling entrepreneur Clara Misowski believes in Christmas hope. Artisan cheesemaker Sam Richards hasn’t celebrated in a decade. Will her determination be enough to make him believe in Christmas romance?
Three failed businesses and an abortive marriage have made Clara doubt her ability to make a success of anything. Her latest venture—a tasting party and culinary road trip business she’d named The Perfect Plate—is her last chance at independence. She’s gambling it all on a Christmas weekend in upstate New York.
Sam is comfortable with his border collie, his sheep, and his artisan cheesemaking business. No Christmas cheer needed. He wants no part of Clara’s plan to include his business in her tour. When she shows up to convince him in person, complete with broken down van, her constant good cheer rubs against him like sandpaper.
A Christmas Hope is a very short contemporary Christmas romance. If you like sweet Christmas romance set in a wintry small village and interesting characters, you’ll enjoy this book.