Congratulations on your upcoming release!
Give us a quick one paragraph summary of your upcoming release – The Mistletoe Contract.
Confirmed bachelor, Nathan Rutledge shut his heart to romance when he was forced to break the heart of the only woman he loved. Now, with his father’s retirement from the family conglomerate, the torch has been passed to him. But there are two problems—first, he needs a wife in order to take over the family business. Second, someone has been embezzling company funds. When Nate contracts an outside accounting firm to investigate the missing funds, the last person he expected to see walks through his front door,
Meredith Mitchell. Eight years ago he left her with a broken heart. Meredith wants to run but needs money for her mom’s life-saving transplant. Nate wants the chance to right his wrongs. When he proposes a modern-day marriage of convenience, she balks at the idea. But he desperately needs a wife, and she really needs the money he offers.
With the pressure mounting to expose the thief and time expiring to find a wife he can trust, Nate needs a Christmas miracle.
Is this book part of a series, or a standalone?
This book is a stand-alone novel, but it’s set in the same small fictional town of Providence, NC that my other books are set in.
What’s your favorite holiday movie and why?
There are several movies I love and it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one but every year I watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the old cartoon version) and A Christmas Carol (1984 George C. Scott Version). These are Christmas traditions from childhood but mostly, I love the themes of redemption and second chances. Christmas is a season of new birth and hope and many Christmas movies share these same themes.
What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?
What I love most about the holiday season is that I get to connect with family and reconnect with old friends. It’s a more relaxed time of the year, and I have more time to bake, catch up projects as well as spend more time with my family.
What inspired you to write a book based around Christmas?
I love Christmas movies! Two years ago, I was watching the previews for all the upcoming Hallmark Christmas movies in addition to the ones on the other channels. I love to cozy up in the recliner, a mug of hot chocolate nearby, and all the lights turned off except the ones on our Christmas tree. It makes for a very relaxing atmosphere. Books and movies that are centered around the Christmas holidays are always uplifting, upbeat, and happy. But I also like the reality show Married at First Sight. Two strangers are matched and then meet for the first time on their wedding day. I started thinking about all the fake boyfriend/fiancé/spouse books that are available, too. So, I thought, what if these two knew each other from a past relationship, but the main characters needed to actually get married and not just pretend to be married. After being separated for eight years, my characters are basically strangers. They would have to navigate the marriage waters, get to know each other all over again, but I wanted the story to be set during the holidays since it’s a hopeful and happy time of year. And from there the ideas, just snowballed in the creation of this story.
Tell us about one of your favorite gifts that you gave someone else?
Several years ago, when my husband’s step-father, Porter, sold his house, he was cleaning out cabinets and closets. We came across a file folder filled with poems that my mother-in-law, Sharon, had written over the years. She wrote about everyday things, like when their small, local grocery store had to close because they couldn’t compete with the big chain stores. She wrote about friendships gained and lost, about her children and grandchildren, and how she felt about retirement. This folder wasn’t found immediately after she passed away, but almost ten years later. For Christmas that year, I wanted to do something memorable for the children and grandchildren, something they could hold in their hands to remember their mom and grandmother. I compiled the poems and gave each one a copy in a nice folder along with a copy of her high school graduation photo. They were all touched by this gift, and in a small way, I got a small peek into the heart of my artistic mother-in-law. It was a tangible way to remember Sharon and her generous spirit that still lives on in her sons and daughter.
Where can readers find you online?