Yvonne Lehman, best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She has joined Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas as Acquisitions and Managing Editor of Candlelight Romance and Guiding Light Women’s Fiction. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her recent fiction releases include Reluctant Brides (Barbour) and Crashing into Christmas (LPC). Her recent non-fiction releases are a Moments series, Divine Moments, Christmas Moments and Spoken Moments (Grace - May 2015). Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC (Abingdon), which she signs periodically at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN. She blogs at www.christiansread.com and Novel Rocket Blog. firstname.lastname@example.org
By Yvonne Lehman
Hey! I didn’t plan this. I don’t do things like this. I’m a novelist.
Then what in the world am I doing with a Christmas book of three short stories?
Well, it’s like this. I had the opportunity to write a short story for a publisher that would be light, sweet, entertaining, and Christmassy. The pay would be a good flat fee and I thought Why not?
I looked in my idea file and saw a few notes on a possible collection of midwife stories several of us writers considered for a compilation that never materialized. Not wanting my ideas to go to waste, I figured a midwife story just might be light and sweet enough.
I started the story and other nice little ideas began to come like someone who doesn’t want to buy a toy for a boy, and then a scandal. The characters began to veer from that straight and narrow path as if crashing headlong into a brick wall. Hmmm, or better yet, a mountain.
Sure … why have a holly, jolly, jingle bell white Christmas when you can crash into it? Hold on … I did name a character Holly. Is that good enough?
I thought the publisher would love my stories, regardless. Not one … but three.
Again, don’t laugh.
These didn’t quite fit with the light and sweet imperfections covered with a blanket of white snow. But then, Christmas events aren’t always snow-covered. I figured, why not entertain my readers with what’s beneath the surface and get to the heart of the matters that we struggle with even at Christmastime. Maybe the struggle is more difficult since we would love to have those perfectly happy ideal Christmases.
I decided we’re not always riding in a sleigh pulled by Clydesdale horses over a soft-snow-covered landscape singing, “Oh, what fun it is … dashing through the snow.” Sometimes “Grandma gets run over by a reindeer.” Sometimes we get caught in a blustery blizzard and crash headlong into those mountains.
But … maybe it can be a blessed Christmas anyway.
Don’t laugh, but believe it