Shannon here: Donna Schlachter shares the inspiration behind her latest Historical Romantic Suspense, The Mystery of Christmas Inn, Colorado. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Nov 3rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
The Mystery of Love by Donna Schlachter:
“You don’t understand!”
I still clearly recall spitting those words at my mother when I was about seventeen and had just had my heart broken by a boy. Somehow I thought that she, a married woman with five kids, couldn’t possibly remember what it felt like getting dumped by the love of her life.
When we’re young, somehow we think adults—particularly parents—never went through what we endure.
Now, older and hopefully a little wiser, I look back and still see her half-lifted smile in my mind’s eye.
She likely knew exactly how I felt. The angst. The heartache. The certainty that another boy would never come along and heal my heart.
I don’t know when it happened to her—we didn’t talk a lot about those personal things. But she did tell me about a boy she met who fell for her, who she had to let down easy. And how she met my father, and fell in love. And married. And at the time of my spouting off to her, still together after nineteen years. My parents went on to celebrate twenty-seven years before she passed away.
When I wrote The Mystery of Christmas Inn, Colorado, I wanted to write about older characters experiencing love again. My father remarried after my mother’s death. She was a wonderful woman who I dearly loved. Matthew and Edith are in their golden years. Matthew’s wife recently passed away, and he sees nothing left to live for. No children. No family. Most of his friends already gone. He comes to Christmas Inn to end it all where his happiness began.
But God. . .
Edith also enjoyed a long, happy marriage with her missionary husband. Now he has died, and she’s left with two grasping adult children who want her money more than they want a relationship with her. She comes to Christmas Inn to figure out what to do next. Maybe she should simply give them the money now.
But God. . .
When Matthew and Edith meet, can he find a reason to go on living, and can Edith find someone who wants her for herself, before their Christmas Inn refuge is closed and they are forced to continue their search for meaning and purpose elsewhere, alone?
The whole love experience is a mystery. There is no explanation for why two people fall in love and get married. Sure, we can try to use science and say hormones and the desire to procreate drive us to choose the best spouse we can. But that definition is based on personal choice. Unlike in the animal kingdom, where males fight to the death, or prance around in bright colors, or scream at the top of their voices, humans use other criteria.
Another kind of love is a mystery, too. Why God loves us. If we take a hard look at ourselves, we can be very unlovable. Mean, snippy, cruel, or just downright evil. Yet most folks are loved by at least one other person, even if that’s only their parents.
So why does God love us? Because we’re created in His image. When He looks at us, He sees His own reflection. And when we submit our lives to Him, He sees us through the blood of His Son, Jesus.
God desires the same things for us that we want: relationship. Security. Peace. Joy. Many of us spend our lives in search of these things, but at some point we conclude that outside Him, we won’t find what we seek. The world may try to promise if we just do better, are better, eat better, think better, then we’ll find what we’re looking for.
But the truth is, only God can give us what we need.
So if you’re struggling with figuring out who you are, look to God and His Son, Jesus. He’s the God of second chances, strong enough to overcome our past and to give us a hope and a future.
About Donna: Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management. Learn more and connect:
About the book – The Mystery of Christmas Inn, Colorado:
Matthew returns to Christmas Inn to celebrate his fortieth anniversary alone, intending to take his own life so he can join his beloved Sarah, who passed on to glory the previous January. Not certain how—or if—he will go on without her, Matthew learns on his arrival that the old inn will close its doors on New Year’s Eve. A developer has purchased the building and intends to tear it down and put up a chain hotel. Determined to keep his memories and his connection to Sarah alive, Matthew embarks on a harebrained scheme to keep the inn open.
Edith Cochrane, a widow, comes to Christmas Inn because she has nowhere else to spend the holidays. Her children are angry with her because she refuses to choose to live with one of them. Edith and her husband enjoyed a long marriage and a long mission-field ministry, but ever since his passing the previous year, Edith has found herself at loose ends. She comes to Christmas Inn to spend some time thinking about her options.
Can Matthew and Edith save the old hotel—and themselves—or will they run out of time?
Question for Readers: What makes you feel the closest to God?
Come back Oct 30th for Amy K. Rognlie!