Shannon here: Authors get sick and sidetracked by Thanksgiving. Hopefully, we’ll all get well and back on schedule next week. But in the meantime, Donna Schlachter will be here all week to share insight into her latest Contemporary Romance, A Mommy by Christmas. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: Dec 10th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
Interview by author, Donna Schlachter, of character Wim Sutton
DS: Greetings, Wim, and thanks for joining us today.
WS: Good to be here. Never done anything like this before.
DS: Don’t worry. I’ll go easy on you. (laughs) Wim, I’d like to ask you some questions so our readers can get to know you. Will that be all right?
WS: Absolutely. I think.
DS: Absolutely. Hopefully, I won’t put you on the spot. Here’s the first. Tell us about your name.
WS: It’s short for William in Dutch.
DS: Is that where your family hails from?
WS: Many years ago. My name is William, but the Dutch thing—well, you know.
DS: Who first called you that?
WS: My grandmother, when I was about three. She said William was a man’s name, and since I was so small, I needed a small name. She meant it in love, of course.
DS: Of course. You’re a veterinarian.
WS: True. (chuckle) Boy, that was easy. Are we done?
DS: Not quite. Did you always want to tend to sick animals?
WS: No. Like all boys, I dreamed of action and danger. Firefighter. Police officer. Forest ranger.
DS: What changed your mind?
WS: I had a dog, and he was hit by a car. I wanted to help but didn’t know what to do.
DS: How old were you?
WS: About twelve.
DS: How did that change you and your plans for the future?
WS: I buckled down to my studies, because I knew good marks in sciences would be important. Biology, then chemistry, anatomy.
DS: So why Christmas Ridge?
WS: My wife and I wanted a safe place to raise our family. The opportunity to run the shelter came up, so we moved there. I’d worked in two other practices before, so I had experience.
DS: Right. Why do you stay in Christmas Ridge?
WS: For much the same reason. Now that my wife is gone, I don’t want Noah to be a latch-key kid.
DS: How has it been since she passed?
WS: The first year of things, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Noah’s birthday, are the toughest. I try to keep things normal and upbeat for him, but it’s hard. I’m glad he has his friends at school. And he loves animals, too, so he likes spending time with me at the shelter
DS: Tell us a little about Tasmyn?
WS: (smiles) What’s to say. She’s a delight. She loves my son. And she tolerates me.
DS: I think she does more than that. Tell us about Noah.
WS: He’s seven going on twenty-seven. So wise for his age, and yet still that innocence. And he loves Taz. He’s the one who—oh, wait. No spoilers, right?
DS: What did you learn about yourself in this story?
WS: I finally figured out that God’s plans aren’t my plans. When my wife passed, my life stopped. If not for Noah, I don’t know what might have happened. But I had to stay stable for him. And God—and Noah—brought me through.
DS: What does the future hold for you?
WS: (chuckle) Lots more animals to help. I know I can’t save them all, but I’ve also figured out it isn’t all about the animals. I’m here to minister hope and healing to their owners, too.
DS: Now for the tough question. What are you most afraid of?
WS: (deep sigh Being alone. And I don’t mean in how many people are around me. I mean in feeling there isn’t anybody I can count on. For me, that’s hell. But as long as I have God, I am never alone. And I think the Christmas season says that best of all: God with us. Emmanuel. We need to keep Christmas in our hearts all year long, as Scrooge declared.
DS: Well said, Wim. Thank you for joining us today.
WS: Thanks for hosting me.
DS: Anything else you’d like readers to know?
WS: Yes. Check out the book and watch for more of our adventures in the future.
Question for Readers: How many pets have you had? Even fish count. Tell us a bit about each. Did you get them from a shelter or elsewhere?
About Donna: A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 50 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.
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About the book: Tasmyn Wright, consigned to remain single if that’s what God wants, is lonely. Maybe she needs a fur-pet. On a whim, she visits the local animal shelter. A delightful man about her own age helps her choose her new housemate, a long-haired calico she promptly names Belle because the creature is so beautiful. And as captivated as she is with her choice, the kind man at the shelter takes up far too much of her thoughts. But with a new member of her household, her work-at-home job as a print broker, and her volunteer work at the community care center, she has no time for romance.
Wim Sutton, the widowed father of seven-year-old Noah, loves his job as veterinarian at the shelter. Not only does he get to fix up sick or injured animals, he thrills at matching adoptees with their forever families. Take Tasmyn Wright, for example. Clearly Belle was in kitty heaven-on-earth. Still, he senses the cat will have its work cut out if it’s going to bring Tasmyn out of her shell. Although she occupies a good deal of his thoughts, he needs to focus on his son and his job. Since his wife’s passing suddenly from cancer the year before, Noah has struggled in school and in church. No, he needs to focus on his own family before he even thinks about expanding it.
A community care center, a calico cat, and Christmas—can a single middle-aged woman bring a town together in time to celebrate the King’s birthday? Can a widowed father find a reason to join in? And can the pair see God at work in their lives?
Come back Dec 6th for Patty Smith Hall!