Christmas books are always fun to read, even in October. This month, you'll see Holiday Defenders on the shelves of bookstores around the country. The story features three Love Inspired Suspense novellas, each with a military theme. You’ll find my story, "Mission: Christmas Rescue," along with "Special Ops Christmas," by Susan Sleeman, and Jodie Bailey's "Homefront Holiday Hero."
When my editor invited me to take part in the holiday anthology, I jumped at the opportunity and started brainstorming story ideas. To prime my inspirational well, I noted elements that should be included, especially those that tug at the heartstrings. Naturally, children had to be in the story--little ones who love Baby Jesus. The children would to be old enough to express a simple faith, yet young enough to be totally enthralled with the magic of the season.
Twinkling lights, evergreen wreaths, mistletoe and snow would be included as well. I love Nativity scenes and added a crèche with the infant Jesus that would tie in with the characters deepening their faith.
In my mind’s eyes, I saw a small town nestled in the Tennessee Mountains. No military post in sight, yet my hero would be an army guy--big and strong but wounded in Afghanistan.
The story would take place over a few days leading up to Christmas, which didn’t provide much time to fall in love. That’s precisely why I gave my characters a history. Not a good history, mind you, because if there’s one word I focus on when creating a story, it’s CONFLICT. I pit hero against heroine, or vice versa, and then make them struggle to rekindle the previously flawed relationship. When the chill starts to warm, I add a black moment that destroys all their hard work and makes the reader wonder if they’ll ever get together again.
Without giving too much away, I ended up with a military hero who needs to protect a woman he left ten years earlier. She’s moved on with her life but can’t forget her first and only love.
When two little ones are in danger, the hero and heroine work together to keep the children safe. They’re on the run, but they’re not sure who’s after them and why. All that has to be revealed as the story unfolds. What they uncover ties in with mistakes made in the past that must be reconciled before they’re able to fall in love again. At the climax, they confront the antagonist in a fast-paced action scene before the resolution and happily ever after.
Do you like to read—or write—holiday stories? What about novellas? Do you enjoy the shorter read?
Ho, ho, ho! Only 79 days until Christmas!
Happy writing! Happy reading!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, THREE MILITARY MEN OF HONOR MUST DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO SAVE CHRISTMAS
Mission: Christmas Rescue, by Debby Giusti
On the run from a killer, Elizabeth Tate must accept U.S. Army Captain Nick Fontaine’s protection for the sake of her young niece and nephew. Now her life is in the hands of the very man who broke her heart years ago.
Special Ops Christmas, by Susan Sleeman
Researcher Claire Reed’s top secret project is stolen, putting her at risk of being kidnapped to unlock it. Her undercover bodyguard—her former love, Green Beret Travis Chapman—is on his most dangerous mission yet.
Homefront Holiday Hero, by Jodie Bailey
When someone tries to kill the daughter of a military official, U.S. Army major Tyler Rainey must keep Kelly Walters from harm…while guarding his own heart against very unexpected feelings.