05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Hope

Hi! I’m delighted to be a guest on Romancing the Genres! Thank you, Judith, Christy and Sarah, for inviting me!

I’d like to introduce you to my most recent offering, a holiday novella called Christmas Hope, where appearances deceive and hope leads to love.

Here’s the back cover copy:

Sam Bledsoe prefers his reclusive existence. A one-man landscape business keeps a roof over his head and food on the table—and keeps his badly scarred face away from curious eyes. But when a woman faints on her way from neighbor Maggie Ross’s house, he doesn’t hesitate. He rushes to help while grappling with memories of the incident that burned him so badly.

The father of her unborn baby showed his true colors when he showed her the door. The apartment she has lined up isn’t available until the first of the year, and with Christmas and a storm on the way, living in her car is no longer an option. Becca appeals to her no-nonsense sister for help, but Maggie, unaware of Becca’s pregnancy, chooses that moment to dish out some tough love.

When Sam comes to Becca’s rescue, their battered hearts collide. In a moment of holiday magic, they discover that Christmas hope applies to all, even to them. And will hope lead to love, the most precious Christmas gift of all?

The inspiration for this story came from a couple of different places. I swim, and one day I noticed one of the lifeguards at my pool has a prosthetic leg for an above-the-knee amputation. He got my imagination going, and initially, Sam, in Christmas Hope, was going to be an amputee. Then I saw an article about the WoundedWarrior Project* that focused on burns—and in my imagination, Sam’s injuries morphed, leaving him with a bum knee and a mangled face. He now had a different set of problems to overcome.

Part of the inspiration for Becca came from a niece whose tattoos tell much about her, if one is willing to listen—or can create a barrier of preconceived notions, much like Sam’s facial scarring. The other part of Becca’s inspiration came from a widely circulated story from China about forced abortions. While it wasn’t an element that I spent much time on in the story (it is a Christmas story, after all), I wanted to include that as part of my attention to women’s issues in my writing. Becca also had to face the challenges of single motherhood so (unfortunately) common to many.

Besides the themes of finding hope and family in unexpected places, the necessity of looking beyond outward appearances shows up in both Becca and Sam. It is a rare person who is able to quickly look past differences to find common ground.

May we all develop that ability.

Most of all, during this holiday season, may we nurture and repair our relationships. May each of us find peace amid the hopes of Christmas!

*A portion of the proceeds from Christmas Hope will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project

Award-winning author Leslie Lynch gives voice to characters who struggle to find healing for their brokenness—and discover unconventional solutions to life’s unexpected twists.

Leslie lives near Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and 
her adult children’s cats. While not engaged in wrestling the beautiful and prolific greenery of their yard into submission, she flies as a volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol, loves the exuberant creativity and color of quilting and pottery…and, of course, writes.

You can find her at:
Twitter: @Leslie_Lynch_

Christmas Hope is available through the following vendors:

Check out the rest of Leslie’s Appalachian Foothills series:

Hijacked – Secrets, suspense, and healing.  

Unholy Bonds – When justice serves but fails to heal.  

Opal’s Jubilee – Where truth is as elusive as mountain mists.  


Judith Ashley said...

Welcome, Leslie! We're glad you could join us today.

Thanks for sharing a bit about Becca and Sam and your inspiration for their story. The Wounded Warrior Project is a great program that does inspiring work. Not only are you donating a percentage of the proceeds from this book, you are shining a light on the work they do.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, Enjoyed all of your books. You stretch the definition of romance into areas of social concern. I appreciate your treatment of restorative justice. We all need a bit of that in our lives, families and communities.

God Bless.


Leslie Lynch said...

Thanks for inviting me, Judith! I hope my work furthers the important work of Wounded Warrior Project. I am honored to support their efforts.

Don, thank you for reading all my books, and for your friendship as you check out blogs that I'm pretty sure you wouldn't otherwise! May we all find restoration of right relationships. One bit at a time will make a difference in the world.


Anonymous said...

Hey, the day is winding down in my neck of the woods. I'll check back in over the next couple of days to see if anyone else has left a comment, but for now I'd like to thank Judith and Sarah again for the warm welcome at Romancing the Genres! It's been a pleasure to hang out here today!

Grace and peace!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for guesting with us, Leslie. And thanks for checking back in over the next couple of days. We often have people 'catch up' with weekend posts at the beginning of the week.

Sarah Raplee said...

I love the way you shine a light in dark corners in your books. The Wounded Warrior Project is a very worthwhile cause. Thank you for your support.

Leslie Lynch said...

Thanks, again, Judith! My pleasure!

Sarah, thank you for seeing the light in dark corners that I try to portray in my books. And I am honored to support the Wounded Warrior Project, a way to shine light into real people's lives and in a more concrete manner. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.