Shannon here: Historical Romance author, Lorna Seilstad shares the inspiration for her latest novella, Father Christmas which is included in The Victorian Brides Christmas Collection. Comment or answer one or both of the questions at the end of this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Dec 15th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Lorna:
With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about our past Christmases. My three children are now all young adults ages 26, 24, and 19, so the days of Hot Wheels tracks and Polly Pockets have passed.
What surprised me as I reminisced was how often my thoughts turned not to the kids, but to my husband David and his excitement about making the children happy. Even though he is no carpenter, he stayed up all night to build them a puppet stage and spent hours making our son a farm board with pieces of green and brown carpet. And of course, there were the bikes, the kitchen sets, and all the other things that had to be assembled before Christmas morning.
There is something about seeing my big, tough guy in the role of thoughtful, sweet, tender father that touches my heart in a special way. It’s a little piece of Christmas I cherish and wanted to capture that in my story “Father Christmas”, one of the nine novellas contained in The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection.
The hero in “Father Christmas” is Hugh. Hugh, a widower, has a little girl named Clara, and he wants to get her a doll for Christmas. Since Hugh has no idea what to look for in a doll, he asks Clara’s music teacher Beatrix to help him make the selection.
This scene was a delight for me to write. Besides wanting to capture the love of a father at Christmas, I wanted to share about Victorian era dolls. I have been collecting antique dolls all of my life. One of my best childhood memories involves coming home from school one day to a living room filled with 30 Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls my father had purchased for me at an auction. There is something magical to me about the dolls of yesteryear.
Now, you may not agree. My two daughters do not share my love for dolls. They call the room where I keep my treasures “the creepy doll room.”
About Lorna: Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. She is a Carol Award finalist and the author of the Lake Manawa Summers series and the Gregory Sisters series. Her stories are also part of several novella collections. When she isn’t eating chocolate, she teaches women’s Bible study classes, volunteers with 4-H, and does wedding planning. She and her husband have three adult children and live in Iowa. Learn more about Lorna at www.lornaseilstad.com.
About the novella collection – The Victorian Brides Christmas Collection
Experience a Dickens of a Christmas
Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?
Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley
1837 Framlingham, England
How can widow Ophelia Hanover give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, the Earl of Litton, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy?
One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase
1855 Devonshire, England
Wounded soldier Tristram Nowell returns home to indulge his mother’s wish for a family Christmas—and encounters Marianna Granville. Can he forgive the former heiress who jilted him years before?
Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts—for love.
The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
When Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone finds his aristocratic British family unexpectedly descending upon him for Christmas, he turns to American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.
Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze
1875 County Durham, England
This Yuletide, Bennet Hett, Viscount Harwood, offers Lady Celeste Sidwell matrimony and the Star of Wonder diamond necklace, as their fathers arranged. When the diamond disappears, will they find a greater treasure?
Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad
Chicago, Christmas 1880
Widowed harpist Beatrix Kent believes love can only come once in a lifetime, but this Christmas, carpenter Hugo Sherman hopes to pull on the musician’s heartstrings and prove her wrong.
The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?
A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899
Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth.
The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach
1900. Small town along the Potomac near Washington DC
A glass ornament. Love letters tied in red Christmas ribbon. Lily Morningstar and British antiquities expert Andrew Stapleton are drawn into a family secret that binds their hearts together.
Questions for readers: Do you like antique china and bisque dolls or do you think they’re creepy? Have your feelings of love ever been stirred by your husband’s efforts to make your children happy at Christmas?
Come back Dec 7th for Stacy Monson!