Welcome back, Susan. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write Christian novels, mostly romance, and a lot have elements of suspense or mystery. My books are split about half and half, contemporary and historical.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Marrying my husband Jim. That was a long time ago, but still one of the best memories!
How has being published changed your life?
Quite a lot, actually. It has allowed me to contribute to the family income while working at home. It has also introduced me to many incredible people.
What are you reading right now?
I am just starting Terri Blackstock’s Truth-Stained Lies.
What is your current work in progress?
It’s a cozy mystery for the Mysteries of Silver Peak series, from Guideposts. It’s not titled yet, but it’s set in a tiny former mining town high in the Colorado Rockies. The heroine, Sadie, owns an antique shop. It’s a fun series, and this is my second book in the lineup. The other books are written by other authors. My first for this series is book #8, Empty Saddle, releasing soon.
What would be your dream vacation?
again (I was there 40 years ago) and visit my daughter and son-in-law.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes they are chosen for me, but I usually pick a place I feel would be best for the story to unfold in. Sometimes the town or the terrain are important parts of the story.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would like to have the chance to ask Vladamir Putin, “What on earth were you thinking?” Of course, I’d need bodyguards, too.
Yes, you would. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like needlework, family history, logic puzzles, and cryptography.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Too many tasks, too little time!
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read a lot, across genres. Write something every day.
Tell us about the featured book.
My new novella, The Christmas Tree Bride, has a theme of longing, nostalgia, and realization. All of this is symbolized by the tree itself.
In the story, Polly Winfield’s desire for a Christmas tree stands for more than that. Since she moved with her family to the plains of
Wyoming, where suitable
evergreens are hard to come by. A friend in Massachusetts sends Polly a postcard with a
picture depicting a decorated Christmas tree, which sparks her longing for one.
Deeper than the tree itself, she longs for the sense of security and being
loved that always surrounded the tree when she was younger.
The hero, stagecoach driver Jacob Tierney, is attracted to Polly. He agrees to look for a tree for her as his run takes him into different terrain, where trees are more plentiful. Achieving that goal proves difficult, and Polly’s tree almost becomes sacrificed in an emergency, but finally it arrives at the Winfield station, a bit droopy and bedraggled.
On Christmas Day, the happy gathering around the tree, now resplendent in its garb of homemade ornaments and popcorn strings, climaxes the story. The symbol and the abstract have merged: Polly has her tree and her desire of a happy family around her and a promising future.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Polly Winfield dashed about the dining room, setting up. On days the stage came through, she and her mother always prepared to serve a full table. The passengers would eat quickly, reboard the stagecoach, and hurry away toward the next station.
Polly didn’t mind the hectic mornings on Wednesdays. The stage was heading west, and that meant Jacob Tierney would be driving it. He would blow the brass horn to announce their arrival and canter the horses the last few hundred yards, to put on a good show. After the passengers gulped down Ma’s stew and biscuits and pie, they would go on, but Jacob would stay.
The young man had recently landed the job as replacement driver for old Norm Hatfield, who had been injured in a driving mishap when his team was spooked by lightning and ran away with the stage. If Norm recovered, or if the division agent hired another permanent driver, Jacob wouldn’t come by the Winfield Station anymore. But that wouldn’t happen yet. At least, Polly hoped not. She liked Jacob enormously, and he had told her he expected to drive the route another three or four weeks, until the line stopped operation for the winter.
The best part of the arrangement was that Jacob stayed at the Winfields’ home station from Wednesday until Saturday, when the stage returned, heading east. The driver on that run, Harry Smith, would stay at there from Saturday until Jacob returned the following Wednesday. They each had a run of a hundred twenty miles or so, covering six stations. On their days between runs, the drivers could do whatever they pleased. If Polly had anything to say about it, Jacob would be pleased to further their acquaintance.
I can’t wait to read this Christmas tale. How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.susanpagedavis.com On my website, you can see all my books, sign up for my newsletter, enter a monthly drawing, and read a short story on my “Romance” tab.
https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor is my author page.
www.hhhistory.com is a history blog where I post on the 23rd of each month.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Christmas Tree Bride - Christianbook.com
The Christmas Tree Bride (The 12 Brides of Christmas Book 8) - Kindle
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