In the city it’s snowing,
the sidewalks are glowing,
but there’s someplace that I’d rather be.
Thousands of people all walking by,
and somehow I’m still alone.
I’m gonna spend winter my way.
Those are a few lyrics from a Christmas song titled Indiana Christmas by Straight No Chaser. I bought the album a few years ago and fell in love with the songs. I could listen to these men all day every day all year and not get tired of them. They are THAT good.
Indiana Christmas touched a chord in me. Maybe because I was born in Indiana. Maybe because I can recall a few Christmases there. I’m not sure, but I loved the song. When I loaded my Christmas music back on my iPod yesterday, this was the first song I played (on a loop for about thirty minutes).
It struck the same chord in me. It reminded me of the memories I have. It took on a new meaning for this year.
The words, the message, the purity of the song embodies my upcoming Christmas story Her Miracle Man. It brings Indianapolis, the Circle and all the places I visited while researching the area and Riley Hospital for Children to life.
The song could be the anthem for the heroine, Jennalyn, who’s lost her family and retreated into the solitude of her grief. She’s always loved Christmas, but this year has decided she’s not going to celebrate it. She’s not even going to acknowledge it. Then she’s hired to deliver miracles to a group of children who’ve been too ill to celebrate. Each miracle pulls her a little farther from her grief, and a little farther into the community around her.
The song talks about remembering people who’ve gone and now look down from above, and sharing the days with loved ones. It’s a song about someone finding their way home, and as we all know, as Jennalyn learns in Her Miracle Man, there’s more to home than a building.
Here’s a video of Straight No Chaser singing the original song. It’s not as good as the recorded version, but it’s still awesomeness.
What evokes a big memory for you? Music? Book? Movie?
Children’s hospital administrator Ryland Davids was attracted to event planner Jennalyn James the moment he saw her. He thought there would be plenty of time to get to know her—until her younger sister, Sabrina, was admitted with complications from traumatic brain injury.
Sabrina’s bright courage broke through Ryland’s wall of professional distance, but once she drew her last breath, Jennalyn left the hospital and never returned. Though he understands her need for distance, there’s a hole in his heart that won’t heal. And a last wish from Sabrina he’s honor-bound to deliver.
When Jennalyn comes face to face with Ryland at a charity event, the pain comes rushing back, threatening to shatter her everything’s-fine façade. It doesn’t help that the lump in her throat is mostly her heart, leaping in response to his touch.
Despite her reluctance to return to the scene of her grief, she fulfills Sabrina’s final request to plan a series of Christmas events for the kids. Over the course of A Month of Miracles, Ryland and Jennalyn discover there’s the light of hope at the end of grief’s dark tunnel. But it may not be enough to heal her broken heart.
Thank you for having me, Lissa!
Nikki is having a blog party to celebrate the release of Her Miracle Man. Go see what’s going on and comment to be entered for some AWESOME prizes. Commenters here today will be entered into a drawing for an ARC of Her Miracle Man. Chat. You know you want this book.
A Hunted Hero
“A child genius exploited by The Centre.”
“He’s a pretender. He can became anyone he wants to be.”
For four years I listened to those words at the beginning of The Pretender. And each week I fell a little deeper for Jarod. I mean, what’s not to love about a character who has been tortured and betrayed his entire life? How are you supposed to not empathize with a man who was never given the chance to know his family, but was instead taken and experimented on until he became an adult?
Okay, honestly, I never thought that much about it until after I started writing and studying characterization. When I did though, I began to see the depth of Jarod’s character. Eventually I began to wonder what it took to create such an interesting character. And then Dr. H made himself known to me.
Dr. H is an empathy who was stolen from his family as a child. He was experimented on. Tormented until his natural abilities changed and morphed into something…more. Now, I have a fun story with my own tormented character finding his way in the world after growing up in captivity. Like Jarod, H is determined to help people who could be hurt like he was. Unlike Jarod, he tends to need a little more coaxing before he opens himself up to others.
And like Jarod, H is now being hunted by the people he escaped from.
ILLICIT INTUITIONS is now available from Samhain Publishing.
Love could be their greatest liability.
Ava Malia knows three things. She was once a kickass covert operative. She will eventually adjust to her new team, the FBI Specialized Crimes Unit. And the only way to finally be free of her professional past is to solve her first case and get her hands on a game-changing technology. The only problem? Success rides on her ability to swallow her distaste for the persona she must adopt in order to earn the trust of a mysterious scientist.
Dr. H escaped childhood captivity with three things. His sister. Complete control of his gift. And an engulfing distrust of anyone in the government. Adjusting to a life of freedom hasn’t been easy, but he’s found peace in solitude. The sexy woman auditing his empathic studies, though, has a way of getting under his skin that’s both arousing and disturbing. Plus, his psychic ability warns him of secrets so deeply buried in her psyche, they’d be better left alone.
Yet their instant attraction strips away all their protective barriers, down to the foundation of a new, fragile trust. And a vulnerability that, when an old enemy opens fire, could blast away any chance of a future.
Read an excerpt of ILLICIT INTUITIONS now!