Merry Christmas! Thanks for visiting my website and participating in the 2020 Christmas Round Robin Scavenger Hunt! This year, 37 authors of Christian fiction have teamed up to offer three outstanding Amazon gift card prizes: 1st Prize is $350, 2nd Prize is $250 and 3rd Prize is $150. Wow!
Here’s how it works: In each participating author’s blog post, you’ll find a question that can be answered by checking out the book description or free sample of her book on Amazon. Provide the answer in this Google Form. At the end of each post is a link to the next blog, which will provide a link to the next blog, etc., to the very end. You must answer the questions for every author correctly in the round robin to be eligible for the giveaway.
I’m pleased to feature Snow Angels for this event. It was my first published book and is still my favorite story. In a way, it was inspired by my own family. I raised three sons, you see, and No Shave November was “a thing” where we lived in Wisconsin. In their teens and early twenties, they couldn’t grow much facial hair. It was sparse and patchy, and even I – their doting mother – teased them about it. They looked like scruffy skid row bums.
Snow Angels began like that – a mistaken identity story. I planned a short and sweet novella, but it grew into a full-length book with funny and heartbreaking situations.
When Lisa gets roped into serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Unity Plenkiss Community Center, she meets a cast of eccentric characters including one very rude and scruffy vagabond. But Pete – despite his rough appearance – is a perfectly respectable director of boys’ activities at the Unity Plenkiss Community Center. Lisa assumes he’s down on his luck and in need of help – and she sets out to fix him up. Annoyed by her patronizing attitude, Pete doesn’t correct her. The misunderstanding is entertaining, but it really gets interesting when Lisa discovers the truth and refuses to let Pete know she’s found out. She steps up her outrageous “assistance,” and Pete finds himself in a pickle. She’s creating jobs for the boys in his care and helping the community – and she won’t give him a chance to confess. Funny, sweet and romantic.
But there’s more…
As I said, I had intended to write a lighthearted novella, but the setting – a fictional Chicago neighborhood – and my creation of the Unity Plenkiss Community Center inspired so much more. Our family’s experiences with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, my work with the elderly, and our family’s military tradition really shaped the story. The Maly Park neighborhood is reminiscent of the decaying blue-collar urban areas left behind when all the manufacturing jobs went away. I added lonely elderly people, low-income families and displaced veterans to my cast of characters, each with their own story and vivid personality. They needed help.
So, I invented the Unity Plenkiss Community Center. (Is that a great name or WHAT??) The UPCC is a Christian ministry. They can’t fix all the problems, but they provide a warm place to sit down, a few hot meals, encouragement and activities for the young people, a safe haven for women in crisis, food and clothing for those with a need, tutoring, companionship and information about available resources. Essentially, a daytime homeless shelter. I added a theme of dignity to my story.
In the end, Snow Angels became a book that will make you laugh and make you cry and make you laugh again. I followed it up with Hope for the Holidays, another Christmas book set at the Unity Plenkiss Community Center. You can get both of them in one collection: Christmas as the Unity Plenkiss. I know you’ll enjoy meeting the people there!
Here’s my question –
The next author on the tour is my friend Kari Trumbo, who is telling us all about her Christmas book, Merry and Dashing. I love this book! You can find her post HERE. Remember that you must correctly answer every question from all 37 authors in this collection and that the round-robin will end on December 12th at 11:59 PM EST!
Thank you so much for visiting. Have a bright and blessed Christmas season!
PS – All of my sons now sport thick, manly beards. They’re pretty good-looking guys.