What is your favorite Wintertime Activity?
Staying warm and reading! Baking lots of cookies plus lemon tarts from an old-fashioned recipe of my grandmother who emigrated from England. Holiday shopping, singing, and decorating with my kiddos.
How many unpublished / half-finished books do you have in progress?
Hmm. I tend to finish books I begin (which is fortunate!), but I have lots of ideas and some outlines of book ideas and plots. I wrote a LOT of books which I call my “practice novels” that have never been published.
What was the most surprising thing you learned when creating your book (in research or in yourself?)
I’ve learned over the years how much I adore research and learning new things and new cultures and new places around the world, including intriguing people and historical events with mysteries. I like to read books about my subject, online articles and watch documentaries. For this new Christmas book it was all about the world of Faberge! The artistry and unique designs and craftsmanship are truly stunning. The man was a genius and craftsman bar none. Pair that with the end of the Victorian Era through WWI and the Russian Royal family and there are lots of stories to tell!
Tell us about the greatest Christmas gift you ever received.
My first two sons were born in the fall and they were infants during their first Christmas and that was always so special thinking about Christ as a newborn baby and holding them and trying to imagine what it was like when Mary only had Joseph to help her during the difficult circumstances she was in for delivering her first child. I admire her so much for her faith and pure love.
Last year I had another great Christmas gift–my own life. I *died* 5 times (5 Code Blues with the defibrillator and went without oxygen for 10 minutes) and was in a coma for a week, but so many miracles happened to preserve my life that it still feels surreal to me that I’m still here. My gratitude is immense for wonderful doctors and the miracle that happened that terrible night, including God’s daily blessing of life and my family!
What inspired you to write this novel?
I’m part of a writer’s group that helps one another and cheers each other on and last year we decided we’d all do a Fake Fiancé Christmas book in a series. I was excited to do one since I hadn’t ever written a fake fiancé romance before and had always wanted to try. We had our beautiful and snazzy covers designed for the series and then my very sudden health issue happened that landed me in the hospital for weeks and in recovery for months afterward which means my Christmas book never got finished or published.
I actually forgot about the book during my rehab and recovery (no writing happened for about 8 months). When I finally began writing again, I finished another book for a series that just needed the final book – Mostly Perilous, The Women of Ambrose Estate. It was finished in August and it’s one of my all-time favorites.
A month later, I thought, “Hey, I have a cover for a Christmas romance that I forgot about – I need to write that!” And Her Secret Agent turned out SO much fun to write! I hope everyone has a great time reading it!
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