Thank you, Winnie, for inviting me to blog with you today. I always love visiting Seekerville. What a joy to hang out with so many friends, old and new.
Throughout my career, I’ve written books for the Christian market for several publishers. I adore weaving my faith into my stories. Surprise Christmas Family marks my twentieth book with Harlequin Love Inspired. I had as much fun writing this one as I did my first book. Both stories are set in Colorado. They also carry the similar themes of non-traditional families finding happiness together, and precious little girls wanting a daddy of their very own.
My father will turn 98 next month. The older he gets the more he wants to talk about the past. I love listening to his stories. Many of his favorite memories are also mine. One in particular happened when I was the same age as the twins in Surprise Christmas Family. Unlike Harper and Kennedy, I grew up in Florida and so, even in December, I was a proud member of the local swim team. At five, my twin sister and I competed in the 6-and-under category. She was the real swimmer. I had yet to finish a race or make it through a single practice. And yet, I was convinced I was a good swimmer, certainly equal to my sister in skill and endurance.
I was, of course, wrong. My sister, showing off her considerable talent at a family Christmas party, swam from one end of the pool to the other (a distance just shy of 25-yards). Not to be outdone, I wanted a try as well. My father was not as enthusiastic as I was. He actually attempted to talk me out of this terrible idea. I was having none of it. If my sister could do it, so could I. When he wouldn’t relent, I resorted to little-girl tears, foot stomps and bottom-lip pouts.
He let me give it a try. As I slid into the water, the other wall suddenly looked very far away. Worried I might not make the crossing, I chose the dogpaddle in hopes of conserving my energy. Halfway to my destination, panic set in. “I can’t do it, Daddy,” I wailed. “I can’t do it!!!”
I was going under, fast.
A heartbeat later…SPLASH. My father’s strong arms scooped me out of the water and set me on the pool deck. When he climbed out after me, I realized he’d jumped in fully clothed; fancy business suit, leather shoes, expensive watch, and all. Ashamed, I started to cry. He simply pulled me into his arms and told me he was proud of me for trying.
Ever since that fateful day, I’ve always known my daddy would jump in the water to save me. I was fortunate to have an earthly father who demonstrated this kind of unconditional love. His example taught me how to trust in my Heavenly Father and to know that the Lord will always be there to save me. Is it any wonder I gave Harper and Kennedy not just one father figure, but an entire clan of uncles, and that all five men would jump in the water, fully clothed, to save them?
What about you? Any great memories about your father? Or husband? Brother or uncle or special teacher? Maybe a coach? Did any of these relationships teach you about your Heavenly Father?
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of five copies of Surprise Christmas Family.
SURPRISE CHRISTMAS FAMILY
Can a very merry mistake lead to a perfect holiday?
He isn’t the man she’s searching for…
but he could be the one she needs.
Hope Jeffries is determined to gain full custody of her twin nieces from their absentee dad. But when she finally confronts Dr. Walker Evans, Hope discovers she has the wrong man—this handsome Colorado widower is the girls’ uncle!
While Hope and Walker try to locate his brother, can they also give their nieces a perfect family Christmas?