Monday, October 08, 2007
Guest Blogger: Pam Crooks
I'm delighted to introduce you to a long-time friend (and actually neighbor) of mine. Pam and I met in about 1990 and critiqued together before either of us ever sold. It was exciting when she sold to Harlequin Historicals several books back, and then even more exciting when we were invited to participate in A Western Winter Wonderland anthology together. I've already been hearing great feedback about all the stories, so I'm excited for those of you who don't already know Pam to meet her. Please welcome Pam Crooks:
Okay - I’m going to show my age here, but does anyone remember the movie, The Three Lives of Thomasina? It was released in the early 60’s by Walt Disney, and the film sticks in my mind as being special because it was the first one I ever saw in a real theatre.
I still remember getting out of the car and walking across the parking lot. It was nighttime and cool, and I was very excited. I loved that movie. It starred Karen Dotrice (she played Jane in Mary Poppins) as Mary. When her precious cat, Thomasina, runs away and is injured, she and her friends take the sick cat to see a woman they believe is a witch with healing powers. Mary’s recently widowed father (a vet) tangles with the woman, and they become attracted to one another. Thomasina is instrumental in bringing them all together, the adults fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. Of course. :-)
I’d always relished the concept of a character shunned by the community but somehow saves the day and is loved by all in the end . (My second book with Leisure, Lady Gypsy, has this same plotline.) When I had the opportunity to be part of Harlequin Historicals next Christmas anthology with long-time pal, Cheryl St. John and Jenna Kernan, I chose this concept for my story, titled One Magic Eve.
Our editors requested a few things of us for the novellas: each story must have a child, a recipe--and of course be held during Christmas. My heroine, Sonja Kaplan, is known as the Bird Lady for her strange association with pigeons in her Montana community; the hero, Chet Lattimer is a highly respected rancher. Sonja meets Chet’s son, Beau, when the child rescues an injured pup and braves local gossip to ask for her help in treating the creature. Chet is suspicious of her work with the birds and the Indian brave she’s be-friended. Without giving too much away, when a scare forces the three of them to spend Christmas together, he learns she’s not the woman her reputation portrays her as being.
The recipe I included and wove into the story is the yummy rosette, another fond memory from my childhood. The fragile cookies are made by dipping festive-shaped irons into thin batter and then fried; when cooled, they could be dusted with powdered sugar or their edges dipped into a glaze. The fried cookies were a special treat my Sicilian grandmother made for us during the holidays, but it’s a cookie favorite throughout the world.
You’ll find our individual writing styles makes each story in Western Winter Wonderland unique. We hope you’ll be inspired by our tales of the joys of family, love and Christmas traditions you find within the pages.
So, tell us. Do you love holiday anthologies as much as we authors love writing them? Any favorites? Have you had rosettes before? I’d love to hear!
Take a minute to post a comment, and I’ll put your name in a drawing for a special copy of Western Winter Wonderland, signed by all three of us!
CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY AT AMAZON
CLICK HERE TO VISIT PAM'S WEBSITE