I’d like to welcome Love Inspired author Patrician Davids to my blog today. I’m really excited about reading her book about Christmas and the Amish – for some reason I love Amish books.
Patricia Davids here. I’d like to thank Rachel for inviting me to blog today and wish her much success with the release of her new book.
I believe that Christmas and Romance go hand in hand. I should know. In December 1976, my husband, then a sailor in the U.S. Navy, was on patrol aboard his submarine and wasn’t expected home until February. Alone in Groton, Connecticut, with a seven-month-old infant and a thousand miles from all my family in Kansas, I tried to keep the Christmas spirit as I spent my first Christmas alone. I bought a sad tree—all I could afford—added paper decorations, popcorn strings, a few lights and a silver foil star. The tree looked as lonesome as I felt, but it made our small apartment smell like Christmas.
Then, on December 23rd, I got a wonderful phone call. I learned my husband’s sub was coming in for repairs. He had one night of leave–on Christmas Eve.
I was overjoyed. When he arrived home after weeks at sea, his kiss was the best present I could have asked for. Snuggled together on the sofa beside the glow of that fragrant tree was where I spent my most romantic Christmas Eve ever.
So now you know why I love Christmas stories and why I love to write them. Because I believe in the magic of Christmas. Wonderful things happen everyday, but wondrous things happen at Christmas time.
My new release, The Christmas Quilt, is an example of just such a wondrous event. Two people, who grew up loving each other, are pulled apart by a tragic event. Years later, they have the chance to fall in love all over again if they can only learn to trust their hearts to each other.
The idea for The Christmas Quilt began when I was skimming news stories on the Internet. I like reading snippets from around the country and I often zero in on medical stories. The story I spotted was, you guessed it, a Christmas story.
A woman in New York with a progressive eye disease had gone completely blind just prior to the birth of her second child. Thanks to the efforts of a special surgeon, the woman underwent an experimental surgery that restored her sight. Just days before Christmas, when her bandages were taken off, she saw the face of her daughter for the first time ever. I wanted to hug them all. What a wonderful gift and what a great story that could make!
And thus, idea for The Christmas Quilt was born. I had to put my own Amish spin on it, of course. I hadn’t mentioned a blind woman who quilts in any of the Brides of Amish Country series books, but I lucked out when I had a chance to slip in a reference about her in the revisions for A Farmer Next Door. Thus, my heroine, Rebecca Beachy came to life.
The hero, Gideon Troyer was a little more difficult to flesh out. I wasn’t sure why he left the Amish or why he would return. For Rebecca’s love of course, but it had to be more complex than that.
As a man who left the Amish and made his own way in life, Gideon was suddenly presented with images of all the things about his faith he’d left behind. The sense of community and of caring for each other he saw at the quilt auction, the way families prayed together in the cafe. Little things like the memory of his mother’s cooking made him homesick. He had accomplished what he’d set out to do, learn to fly, but he knew something important was still missing in his life. When he had the chance to spend time with Rebecca again, he couldn’t turn it down. But because he’d left his Amish faith after being baptized, he would be shunned by anyone who learned his identity.
If you haven’t read the story, you might wonder how Rebecca, who’d grown up loving Gideon, could spend time with him without recognizing his voice. I wondered that, too. It wasn’t until I came down with a nasty case of laryngitis that I had my answer. I may have found the solution without getting sick, but God gives us trials for many reasons. This one happened to help my story.
The Christmas Quilt may be pure fiction, but there is a whole lot of reality behind it. So you see, I like Christmas stories because they show me that life is ever hopeful and waiting to surprise me.
Have a great holiday season and Merry Christmas to everyone.
Thanks so much for sharing that lovely story with us Patricia. I’d love to hear from you guys about any Christmas magic that has happened in your world…