I am so pleased to introduce you to my sister-writer, Patricia Kiyono, best-selling author of sweet romances.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Andrea! Christmas Wishes is my third holiday story, and it took me longer to write. Why? One reason is because it's a longer story. This book is more than twice as long as The Christmas Phoenix (released in 2011) and The Partridge and the Peartree (2012).
Another reason the book took longer to write is because the central conflict between the two main characters is one that's very real to me. No, I'm not planning to go to the Big City and leave my small-town husband behind! But at the time I started writing Christmas Wishes our youngest daughter was contemplating a move to the west coast and pursue a career as a screenwriter—just like Sophie Gardner, my heroine. And while moms everywhere want to see our children unfurl their wings and soar, in honesty we'd prefer that they not fly TOO far away!
Sophie's plans to move away conflict with Mitch's desire to stay in the small village of Zutphen. She solves her conflict in her way, and I'm sure my daughter will resolve hers as well. I'm just glad that with technology, we'll always be able to stay close.
Mitch Carson is tired of the big city. In his former life, he'd been a news photographer in Chicago, where the dangers are endless. But now, he just wants to settle down in this quiet town with his daughter, Angie. Here, his only fear is losing his daughter to his scheming mother-in-law.
Sophie Gardner wants to be a screenwriter. She's ready to leave small town Zutphen, Michigan and go to Hollywood. With a theater degree under her belt, she's busy writing scripts while helping out her sister Joanie, who's bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. Unfortunately, Joanie has somehow coerced Sophie into directing the Christmas pageant at Zutphen Community Church.
When Sophie and Mitch meet, the attraction is instant and mutual. But each wants what the other is trying to get away from. Can they deny their feelings and pursue their dreams? Or will the holiday prove to them that their true wishes might not be what they'd thought?
He hadn’t realized his voice had carried and he murmured an apology to Sophie, who looked anything but embarrassed. She seemed fascinated with her coffee, having it raised to her lips, but her shaking shoulders told him she’d enjoyed his discomfort.
“Okay, I’m going to speak quietly,” he said through his teeth. “I’ve got my notes app open on my phone and whenever you’re done laughing, I’m ready to write down the names of those potential babysitters and their phone numbers, if you have them.”
Sophie set her cup down. Her twinkling eyes were all that remained of her laughing fit. “Right. There’s Brenda Lou Hodges, who lives around the corner from you…”
Mitch typed as quickly as he could. Before he knew it, he had a half dozen names of junior and senior high girls Sophie knew and trusted. The younger ones lived close enough to walk over if necessary.
“And if none of them work, there’s always me. Until Christmas, anyway.”
The phone dropped to the table. “Until Christmas? What happens then?”
“Hopefully I’ll be moving to Los Angeles.”
“Wh— oh, do you have a job lined up there?”
She faltered. “Not yet.”
“You have family there? Friends? A boyfriend?” Hopefully she hadn’t caught the crack in his voice at the last word.
“None of the above,” she answered. “Well, an ex-boyfriend, but that doesn’t count.”
“So, uh, what are your plans?” He gave himself himself another mental slap. Why did he always sound like his father when he was with her?
“I’m getting my portfolio ready, and I’ll be contacting agents soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on a show and write scripts. And eventually I’d like to write screenplays.”
“Oh, that’s — great,” Mitch finished. His stomach churned, and he placed his hand on it. Must be the omelet I ate this morning. Maybe I didn’t cook those eggs long enough. There’s no way I could be so worked up about her leaving. “Well, good luck with that.”
“Thanks. Well, thanks for the coffee. I’ve got to get this stuff home to Joanie.” She got up and started to push her cart toward the checkout lanes then turned back. “I’m serious about watching Angie. She’s a doll, and it would be no burden at all to take care of her. She pointed to his phone. “Take my number down, too.”
He complied, and then watched her hurry away.
It’s a good thing I hadn’t started investing any feelings in her, he thought. She’s leaving.
But deep down, he knew it was probably too late.
Buy links: Christmas Wishes can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook outlets.