Dear Readers, Susan is a long-time, dear writer friend. I’ve treasured the special times we’ve been privileged to spend face-to-face time at conferences and on a couple of retreats. The 12 Brides of Christmas is a collection of 12 novellas that released last year individually as ebooks. These novellas are still available individually online. I’m reading this collection right now, and they are wonderful, historical Christmas stories.
Welcome back, Susan. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I often write about forgiveness and reconciliation. In The Christmas Tree Bride, the theme is more of growth and acceptance.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I have a new novella coming out in March in the collection called The Cowboy’s Bride. I’m also working on a new project I’m very excited about. Guideposts is presenting a new series called Tearoom Mysteries, and I am writing the first book.
Congratulations. I’ll have novellas in two collections next year—Love is Patient in February and Mountain Christmas Brides in September. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I’d really like to sit down with Alex Trebek (of Jeopardy) and see what he doesn’t know.
He has hosted that show for a very long time. I love Jeopardy. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Ulysses S. Grant. He went through a lot, and he wasn’t perfect, but he was one of the greatest generals ever. When urged to replace him as commander,
said, “I can’t spare this man; he fights.” Yet Grant himself said, “Although a
soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I
have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.” Lincoln
I found it interesting that Grant and Robert E. Lee were classmates in
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from
First of all, seek out a professional edit or critique. Is there some major flaw in your book that you did not see? Consider why this story might be rejected more than once. Is your writing not quite up to par, or is the genre one that is currently out of favor? Does it contain elements that some Christian publishers find objectionable? Is it too predictable, or too much like what is already out there? Many publishers are putting out fewer books right now than in the past. It might just be that they don’t have a slot for a new author. If people who have experience in the field tell you that your writing is good and your story is engaging, then maybe you should consider the self-publishing route. But if you go this way first, make sure the manuscript is well edited and presented in the best possible manner.
Tell us about the featured book.
The 12 Brides of Christmas is a collection of twelve historical romance novellas, each with a Christmas theme. My story is called The Christmas Tree Bride. In it, Polly Winfield has moved with her family to the plains of
where evergreens are hard to come by. She develops homesickness, though she
remains cheerful and helpful to her parents in running the stagecoach station. Wyoming
A friend in
sends Polly a postcard with a
picture depicting a decorated Christmas tree, which sparks her longing for one.
Polly is reminded of happy Christmases with family and 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. After all his efforts, will Polly’s hard-won tree have to be
sacrificed in an emergency? Massachusetts
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
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. Though his driving job was temporary, 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.
Ma bustled through the kitchen doorway, carrying two covered baskets. “They’ll be here any minute. Set these out and fill the water pitchers.”
Polly took the baskets and set them on the table, enjoying the fresh scent of baking. The passengers always raved about Ma’s flaky biscuits. Polly had heard more than once that the Winfield station had the best food of any along the line from
Laramie to . Salt Lake City
The faint call of Jacob’s horn reached her. The stage was coming down the slope from the bluffs. She longed to run outside and watch him guide the team in, but Ma would have a fit if she disappeared now. Their job was to get the meal on the table and make sure every passenger was satisfied, while Pa collected the price of dinner and the tenders swapped the tired horses for a fresh team.
Jacob’s duties ended when the last passenger had stepped down from the coach. He’d give Pa and Harry any news he’d picked up along the way and then mosey out back to use the necessary and wash up. When the passengers were done eating and were scrambling back into the coach, he would stroll into the dining room and grin at Polly and say, “What’s to eat?”
Polly smiled as the first passenger came through the door. The next quarter hour would be hectic, but so worth the fuss. Her mother earned nearly as much with her cooking as Pa earned for running the station.
Eight men paid up and came to the table today. Ma was smiling, and Polly knew she was adding up the money in her head. The coaches had been full every week in the summer and autumn, but now cold weather was setting in, and sometimes Jacob had only one or two riders. People hated riding the stage in freezing weather.
Polly filled coffee cups, brought more biscuits, and distributed slices of apple pie. She glanced out the window once. The tenders were guiding the fresh team into place.
“Got more coffee, miss?” one of the diners asked, and Polly hurried to get it.
A moment later, Harry poked his head in the doorway and yelled, “All aboard!”
Men grabbed one last bite of their dessert or a final swallow of coffee and headed out to the yard.
And there he was, leaning against the doorjamb, grinning, his whip coiled in his hand.
“What’s to eat, Polly?” Jacob asked.
She laughed. “You know we always have beef stew on Wednesday.”
He stepped forward and took a seat at the end of the long table. “Did you save me any biscuits?”
“I always do.” Polly whisked away the dirty dishes from the table in front of him and hurried to the kitchen. “Jacob’s ready to eat.”
“What about the shotgun messenger?” Ma asked. “Is Billy Clyde with him?”
“Haven’t seen him yet,” Polly said.
Ma ladled a generous serving of stew into a soup plate. “I’m saving enough for him. Didn’t expect so many passengers today, though. They nearly cleaned me out.”
Polly carried the stew and a basket of warm biscuits into the dining room.
“Where’s Billy Clyde?” she asked Jacob.
“Out yonder, jawing with your pappy.” Jacob’s eyes lit when she put the plate of stew before him. “I’ve been dreaming of this stew all week.”
“Naw, he ain’t,” Billy Clyde said from the doorway. “Miss Polly, he’s been dreamin’ ’bout you.”
Polly laughed and felt her cheeks warm. “Hush you, Billy Clyde.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit my website at: www.susanpagedavis.com
Or my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor
Every month I blog on the 23rd at: www.hhhistory.comAnd you can follow me on Twitter: @SusanPageDavis
Thank you, Susan, for sharing this new collection with us. My readers love Christmas stories.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The 12 Brides of Christmas - Christianbook.com
The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection: 12 Heartwarming Historical Romances for the Season of Love - Amazon
The Christmas Tree Bride (The 12 Brides of Christmas Book 8) - Kindle
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